Puppet Potehi (Wayang Potehi)


Puppet potehi comes from district Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China. Puppet Potehi comes from two words, namely, Puppet and Potehi. Potehi itself comes from the word poo (cloth), tay (bag) and Hie (puppet). There are two stories that unravel the history of puppet potehi born into the world. It is estimated that this type of this art was already there during the Dynasty Jin in the 3-5 century AD and developed in the Dynasty Song.

The first story, according to legend, the art of puppet was discovered by a convict in prison. Five people were sentenced to death. Four people were immediately saddened, but the fifth convict had the bright idea. From on the sorrow waiting to die, better amuse themselves. So, five people are taking tools that exist in the cell such as pots and dishes as a accompaniment, and started game their puppet. Then, the nice voice that comes out the resulting from of  accompaniment  be heard by the emperor, who finally gave forgiveness.

The second story, a student named Liang Ping Lin. He was frustrated because of the continued failure to follow test work  in the Ming Dynasty, 17th century. Then, he tried to play a patchwork fabrics into a puppet. It was all done according to the instructions of a grandfather whom he met in a dream. Since then, he began to explore the world of puppet potehi.

Basically, the puppet Potehi is a puppets offerings to the gods. And usually played in the yard Klenteng. The play of story is taken from an ancient legend. The title story can spend up time until three months.
How Potehi puppet art is known in Indonesia?

"The chinese people actually have existed since Indonesia ancestors," said the writer Pramoedya Ananta Toer during his lifetime. "They are there in Indonesia, who live and die in Indonesia as well. However, because a veil of politics, has suddenly become a familiar, but not foreign and it does not mean progenitor in Indonesia". 

Around the 17th century, immigrants from the plains of China's entry to region the Netherlands East Indies. And introduce Chinese culture such as the Barongsai, Liong, and a puppets Potehi (or there is also a mention of puppet Thiti).

For Wie San Tao, a Chinese descent who live in different generations with his ancestors, felt the need to scour the culture trail. Namely, by becoming a puppet group personnel potehi "Uh Fu An". Arts group based in Hong San Kiong Shrine, Jombang, East Java, Indonesia.

Not only Wie Tao San. Blood art  puppetry of puppet potehi but also flowed in figure of  Tok Hoy Lay, Chairman of Tri Dharma Foundation Places of Worship Hong San Kiong. Art blood oozing from his father and grandfather who also puppeteer a puppet  potehi. To maintain the value of Chinese culture, Hok Lay did not choose a role as a mastermind. He would rather be behind the screen with a supports of group survival potehi puppet.

Beginning of the 19th century was a period where in Indonesia began to  there are descendants mix china, called "Tionghoa Totok" or a familiar called "Hoakiao". And there are also descendants of the original Chinese is called "Chinese" aka "Kiauseng". But they mingle without separated by a cubit.

But puppet potehi entering another round in 1959. At that time, the prohibition against the Chinese people who came to trade in the countryside. Feelings of fear and the dark clouds were covering their day. Inevitably, a situation that makes some of them decided to return to the Chinese mainland. And at that time, gave birth to the term indigenous and non-indigenous.

The condition was aggravated by the emergence of a presidential instruction that limits the movement of Chinese culture in 1967. When the Suharto regime. In fact, Chinese citizens to worship only, must to sneak.

More than 30 years the roots of the tradition of Chinese culture in Indonesia suspended animation. Potehi puppet group "Uh Fu An" led Tok Hok Lay did not want to bad situation, eliminate ancestral traditions. For the sake of it all, the direct heir a arts of  Potehi puppets, to recruit of  a number puppeteer Potehi of  that the  person Javanese and the Muslim.

But at the time the presidency changed, by KH. Abdurrahman Wahid, and democratic reforms were running. so, no longer distinguishing, ethnicity, religion, culture, even though descent. So everyone can get their rights.

So the puppets Potehi art is original art china, but flourished in China and Indonesia.

With World Cultures will to be one, with the culture all can be entertained, with the culture a knowledge will to be a broad.