Puppet Mask (Wayang Topeng)


It's amazing cultural richness in of the archipelago.   For example arts of puppet, for one region can be so diverse. In Java alone, puppet consists of shadow play, puppet suket, puppet people, puppet klithik, and there are also a called puppet mask.

Art puppet mask is no different of the performing arts puppet people. The difference only is, all players wear a mask. As for his story namely, Panji story, the Ramayana and Mahabharata story.

The story of Ramayana and Mahabharata story are originating from India. But more than a hundred years ago, when it started to go to Southeast Asia, until finally the land of Java, the story of Ramayana and Mahabharata have an adjustment to the culture of Indonesia, especially Java. Even in the latest developments, when Islam entered the land of Java, the art of puppet was adapted so that the Hindu epic that breathes into an epic that breathes Islam.

One example of the inclusion of Islamic teachings through the art of puppet on puppet story "The weapon powerful  of the five knight Pandawa" called "Jamus Kalimasada", which is used in the spread of Islam. The puppeteer then said that what is meant Kalimasada is the sentence creed.

Type of puppet art on this one, thrives in the land of Java. Even initially played at the palatial palace of Surakarta and Yogyakarta. The players of the beginning are the servants of the palace. But in its development, the art of puppet mask out of the palace and played Javanese society.

Despite  growing popularity of puppet masks faded, in some areas, this art still thrives, especially in East Java, more specifically in Malang and surrounding areas. Puppet mask played the night until dawn. Puppet mask often in performances by the people who are have of ceremony, such ceremonial marriage, circumcision, and others. As a spectacle, of course held in the open field on the stage, and freely enjoyed by society. Besides entertaining, also free.

But after the presence of television, folk art performances, including mask puppet  began marginalized. Even to the present puppet mask art still survive, nothing more because of government assistance in this department of culture, tradition, or culture of the community activists who have a high concern on the sustainability of puppet art masks.

In the hands of government, the art of mask puppet are often packaged in a ceremonial stage in the activities of government, or in cultural missions abroad.