The puppet master

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During our tour out to the Green Canyon outside of Pangandaran, West Java, we stopped by the workshop of a local puppet master or dalang, Rojikin Supriadi Putra.

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Rojikin is known for his intricately detailed wooden Sundanese-style puppets and has won many awards for his craftsmanship as well as his performance skills.  He makes all the puppets himself, his wife makes their clothes and does all the beading, and he leads a performance troupe that is often called on to entertain in many situations, from performing scenes from the Ramayana at government events, to traveling out to villages to deliver public health and safety messages through puppet performances.

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He put on a short show for us and the voices and characterizations he used were amazing, especially the fight scenes.  He really bought the puppets to life, showing how a skilled dalang can really make or break a puppet show.

The puppets are all made from lightweight balsa wood from trees he grows on his own property.

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If you are in Pangandaran and want to visit Rojikin, you can either organize a tour from Pangandaran’s Bamboo House guesthouse or just drop by.  He is located behind the Cibenda market in RT 01/RW 15.  Just ask around, it’s the kind of place where everyone knows everyone.  You can also call him on 0813 1256 8001.

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