Shadow puppets

IndonesiaJakarta escapesPhotosYogyakarta

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Went to a place where they make wayang kulit (shadow puppets).  It’s amazingly intricate, the way they hand make the puppets out of buffalo skin.

I was going to maybe go and see a puppet show, but I wasn’t really in the mood for two hours of a puppet performance in Javanese.  Too tired.  Why can’t they offer a half-hour bule special?  Where the dialogue is mostly using words acquired in the first 10 hours of Indonesian lessons?

Though, in ye olde days, the performances apparently went on for more than 24 hours!  And even now, a couple of times a month in Yogya you can see an all-nighter wayang show.  Intense.  I will definitely go and see one of the shows at some stage though.  But it’s my holiday and I can be a crap tourist if I want to…


An artisan at work.  The detail on the puppets is amazing.  I asked the guy who owned this store whether the puppet makers ever used magnifying glasses or anything to help them.  He looked at me like I was an idiot (well… politely.  He was Javanese, they don’t really do impolite or aggressive) and gave me a definite “no”.  It’s very impressive.  It takes two weeks from start to finish to complete one of the puppets.

One Response to " Shadow puppets "

  1. bud says:

    yes, an hour show for me is enough. and with indonesian subtitle please