Radya Pustaka Museum in Surakarta, Central Java, has recently cleaned its collection of shadow puppets, this process is known as ngisis wayang. There are a total of 121 Dupara shadow puppets, which are stored in a giant case. Each was cleaned carefully using a soft brush as they are already over 120 years old.
Museum head Bambang MBS said the ancient shadow puppets needed to be cleaned regularly, and it was impossible to showcase them in a performance.
The Dupara shadow puppets, according to numerous sources, were first created in 1894 by Danuatmojo, the nephew of Mangkunegara IV of the Mangkunegaran Court.
These Dupara shadow puppets are distinct from other types of puppet, because they tell historical stories of Javanese kingdoms from the Pajajaran, Majapahit to Kartasura and
The word dupara means odd, and it refers to the oddness of the storyline and the shape of the shadow puppets, which are different from regular ones.
The first Dupara shadow puppets, which are stored at the museum, were quite small. They were crafted like any other shadow puppet but they were simpler. Most Dupara shadow
puppets were clamped with black buffalo horn, wood or bamboo.
Dupara puppets were exhibited several times at Indonesia Puppet Week in the 1960s and 1970s. After that, there were newer kinds of puppet.
The revitalizing of Dupara puppets is necessary to reintroduce the art, not only for Surakartans but also for Indonesian citizens. [yan]