Wayang golek is one of many puppets show in Indonesian cultures, known as traditional puppets from west java, wayang golek being one identity for sundanese people. Several Jokes, life philosophy and the characters in this puppets show given much influence for sundanese. That is why Wayang Golek or another Wayang such as Wayang Kulit, anciently using for proselytism purpose.

Little is known for certain about the history of wayang golek, but scholars have speculated that it most likely originated in China and arrived in Java sometime in the 17th century. Some of the oldest traditions of wayang golek are from the north coast of Java in what is called the pasisir region. This is home to some of the oldest Muslim kingdoms, who used the medium to proselytize Muslim values.

The word wayang refers to both the puppets and the theatre. Dating back the early 16th century, traditional Javanese tales and plays from the Ramayana and Mahabharata were performed. This variety of plays combines Hindu stories with Buddhist and Muslim ideas and Javanese folklore. Usually, the stories are divided into different episodes. They illustrate the fight of good against evil through conflict, culminating in the triumph of the good forces and the destruction of evil. The characters are always arranged on the stage in the same way – good characters to the right of the puppeteer, and bad characters to the left.

The Puppeteer is called “Dalang”, (My Father also one of those puppeteers 😀 , Love you, abah! ) who operated the wayang from below through the rod that connected to the hands and a central control rod that runs through the body to the head. The simple construction of the puppets belies their versatility, expressiveness and aptitude for imitating human motion or dance. The dalang also accompanied by a gamelan (percussion) orchestra and singers (Sinden).

Wayang golek made of albasiah or lame wood. Build with sculpting and carved this, so as to resemble any desired shape. Each puppet has a carved and painted head with an elaborate headdress and a long neck that can swivel. Headdress, costumes and colours vary for each puppet and can also indicate to the audience what kind of character it represents. White means purity, virtue and moral integrity and is often the face colour of princes. Red means aggressiveness and anger. Blue and green face colours mean cowardliness and hypocrisy. Each characters represent how human doing life in good, in bad also, and how the consequences or the impact for another. Besides watching the art show, we also can taking a life lessons from its puppets show.

Adjusted to the time by now, the story of wayang golek show is not only about proselytize, it could be a hot politics issue, social issue, or another funny thing that can tell and entertaining. And many wayang golek are now made for sale to tourists In west Java.

Source : Wikipedia, www.objectlessons.org,

Pictures: www.sundajeungsunda.blogspot.com , www.gojabar.com,


2 thoughts on “Wayang Golek: Learn the meaning of life from wooden puppets.

    1. Hi Eunice. Sorry for late respons. Glad to hear that you interested into our traditional puppet, wayang golek. Honestly, i am only a fans of wayang golek. Not really much information i know about. But i’d like to help as much as i know. You can send me e-mail omarsu81@gmail.com


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