Behind the scenes of puppetry magic
The art of puppetry making
Hidden from street view, this humble shop is a rare gem in Bandung, where the art of puppet-making is fast disappearing. It is helmed by master dalang (puppeteer) Pak Tatang, the only one of five brothers carrying on the family’s puppet-making tradition. This art form can’t be learned from books, it’s passed on from one generation to another. Tatang has been working here since he was a little boy.
Most people know the shadow puppet play -called Wayang Kulit -but here, in Sundanese West Java, they practice Wayang Golek, a three-dimensional rod-puppet theatre. Its origins dating back to the 16th century, Wayang Golek has evolved into a complex practice of epic storytelling and artistic expression. It requires unique skill in puppetry carving, acting, gamelan music and singing.
Pak Tatang’s puppets all have a unique story to tell! Impressed by the skill that goes into making a Wayang Golek, but don’t want to one? Support this small business and buy a custom engraved pen (IDR.20.000)!