29 Nov, 2013 | From Wei Yi of Malaysia
Wayang kulit or shadow puppet theatre is a traditional art form from Malaysia. Wayang kulit is a living art form, and there are also many contemporary productions and cross-art collaborations. It is also inscribed by UNESCO in 2008 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Kulit means skin or leather. A wayang kulit puppet made of skin or leather is the most popular form of puppet used in wayang puppet theatre throughout Malaysia and other parts of Southeast Asia. A performance combines music and drama and is a celebratory ritual involving elements of Hindu, Islamic, and Indigenous Javanese stories brought to Malaysia.
During a Wayang Kulit performance, the master storyteller or Tok Dalang conducts the shadow from behind the screen by reciting the tale with appropriate sounds and movements.