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roaming the world and enjoying the scenery...

Yogya puppets

(Susan’s descriptions of our travels through central Java continue from here, here, and here)

Becaks all lit up at night as Alea and Susan head downtown Once, after  a full day of exploring Yogya, fully restored, Susan and Alea decided to hop a Pedi-cab and go to the Sono-Budoyo museum to take in an evening wayang kulit performance.  Wayang kulitare flat leather puppets managed by three sticks – one for each hand and one to prop up the back. One man manages all the puppets while a full gamelan performs the music; together they retell various Hindu legends.Wayang kulit is experienced as a 360 degree theater.  There are chairs all around the performing area; you can watch from the ‘front’ to see the man manage the puppets and from the sides to get a full-on of the gamelan. The ‘back’ is separate from the front by a screen, so you enjoy the puppets in shadow from this angle.Alea and I walked around the stage about 10 times to enjoy the different views and experiences.  We saw an end section of the Ramayana – a young man is fighting a God only to find out it is really his father.  The shadow fights were something else – the impacts timed perfectly with the gamelan. The shadowy designs were intricate and shaded on the screen

Gamelan players and the puppermaster behind the screenThe puppets all lined up and ready to go

Here's how the magic takes placePuppets "talking" to each other behind the screen

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