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Jakarta Post

Wayang Wong Bharata survives on love, devotion

  • Ani Suswantoro


Jakarta   /   Sun, March 9 2008   /  12:43 am

The vast archipelagic nation of Indonesia is blessed with a wealth of indigenous cultures that stretch across from Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam to Papua. So diverse and various is Indonesian culture that the national slogan Bhinneka Tunggal Ika -- "Unity in Diversity" -- is an apt reflection of this plurality. One art form that is part of this richness is the wayang (traditional puppetry), influenced by Hinduism, and the history of which can be traced as far back as the 9th Century in Indonesia. The wayang exists from Sumatra to Lombok, but in various versions according to the local culture. There are many types of wayang, from the wayang kulit (shadow puppet) to the wayang topeng (masked puppet) to the famous wayang wong or wayang orang. Wong in Javanese and orang in Bahasa Indonesia both mean person, and the "puppets" in this art form are human perfo...