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Photography - Wayang Golek - Yogyakarta 003

We visited Putro Wayang Puppet Workshop in Yogyakarta to see for our self the process of making and performing the Wayang Golek (Wooden Puppet) and the Wayang Kulit (Leather Puppet). So if you guys happen to visit Yogyakarta, don’t forget to visit this place.

The City :

Yogyakarta is a city on the island of Java in Indonesia. It is renowned as a centre of education (Kota Pelajar), classical Javanese fine art and culture such as batik, ballet, drama, music, poetry and puppet shows.

Yogyakarta City is the capital of the Yogyakarta Special Region and was the Indonesian capital during the Indonesian National Revolution from 1945 to 1949, with Gedung Agung as the president’s office. One of the districts in Yogyakarta, Kotagede, was the capital of the Mataram Sultanate between 1575 and 1640.

The city is named after the Indian city of Ayodhya from the Ramayana epic. Yogyameans “suitable, fit, proper”, and karta, “prosperous, flourishing” (i.e., “a city that is fit to prosper”).

Its population was 388,627 inhabitants at the 2010 census and its built-up (or metro) area was home to 4,010,436 inhabitants across two cities (Yogyakarta and Magelang) and 65 districts across Sleman, Klaten, Bantul, Kulon Progo and Magelang regencies. Yogyakarta-Magelang and Surakarta are being agglomerated in several years.

Because of its urbanisation and modernisation, Yogyakarta has a very high HDI ranking nationally, being one of the highest in Indonesia as well; at 0.837 (or “very high”), on which it could be considered as a “developed” city.

Wayang Golek :

Wayang Golek (Wooden Puppet) is basically the same as Wayang Kulit (Leather Puppet) the only difference is that one is made from wood and the other is made from leather hide.

Wayang is a popular form of Folk Theater in Java and Bali. People often associate the word “puppet” with “shadow”, because, it is seen from behind  the screen, where the shadows appear. In West Java, in addition to the known Wayang Kulit, the most popular is Wayang Golek. The term “Golek” can refer to two meanings, as a verb the word “Golek” means “looking”, as a noun “Golek” means wooden puppets. Regarding Wayang Golek, there are two kinds, the Papak (Cepak) and the Purwa in the Sunda region. Most forms of puppet art are played by a Dalang as the leader of the show which simultaneously sings the Suluk, voices antawagu, and others.

UNESCO required Indonesians to preserve their heritage so that future generations may appreciate how rich and colorful their culture is.

More photos of Yogyakarta here.

Our group trip photos in Instagram.

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