Antique Indonesian Wayang Kulit Puppet Lamp
AGE: – Unknown
HEIGHT: – 58cm
WIDTH: – 29.5cm
DEPTH: Front to back 43cm
WEIGHT: – 2.2kg.
#7a PRICE: – CONTACT
This wooden Antique Indonesian Wayang Kulit Puppet Lamp was a traditional style lamp used in Wayang Kulit performances before electricity was accessible in the villages throughout Indonesia. In Indonesia, the lamp is referred to as blencong, it hangs above the puppeteer’s head who sits on the stage behind a large white screen during a performance whilst a flame coming from a metal vessel filled with coconut oil seated on top of the tray projects a flickering light onto the screen and puppets which are viewed by the audience on the other side of the screen as a shadow.
The puppet master who also tells the story shapes the overall performance and can project the size of the puppet depending on how far or close he holds the puppets to the screen referred to in Indonesia as Kelir.
This traditional theatrical art form is one of Indonesia’s oldest forms of theatre, predating the Hindu Buddhist era before the 9th century. Theatre shows are mentioned in a Javanese 12th-century poem and the word “wayang” is mentioned in an inscription written during the reign of King Airlangga dating to the 10th century.
It is believed that this art form possibly originated through Indonesia’s historic relationship with the Hindu/Buddhist influence and the famous Hindu epic love story of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata during the second half of the first millennium, transitioning into its present form which is uniquely Indonesian, but also adopted by the Balinese Bali, Sumatrans and in some parts of Malaysia. The storyline is mostly centred around good versus evil.
Wayang Kulit Puppets
The Wayang Kulit puppet shows are made from the hide of a buffalo (leather), the words “wayang” means (shadow) and “kulit” (skin), they are intricately perforated to form a pattern and beautifully hand painted between the perforations. The puppets are usually manipulated by just one puppeteer seated on the ground behind the screen with a platform in front of him on which the puppets perform. The performance is usually a noisy affair with loud Indonesian classical music played on Gamelans, accompanied by the clashing of cymbals, xylophones and various gongs in various sizes and shapes often accompanied by singing. A traditional puppet show of yesteryear could last several hours or even a whole night.
Wayang Golek Puppets
These wooden puppets which are used mostly In West Java are referred to as wayang golek, which are carved from a piece of wood in the round, as opposed to the flat leather puppets (wayang kulit) which are used in other parts of Indonesia. Wayang golek are highly decorative with brightly coloured painted heads and faces, and often wearing a sarong made from batik or other form of traditional Indonesian dress which hides the stick that runs up through the centre of the puppet and is held by the puppeteer who manipulates the movements of the puppet.
In Javanese myth, it is believed that the Gamelan was created by Sang Hyang Guru who ruled from his palace on the Mahendra mountains to summon the gods and theatrics are motivated to impart spiritual, historical and moral messages to the audience.