SE A ST 1 - (Week 5) The Wayang World

SE A ST 1 - (Week 5) The Wayang World - CHAPTER 5 The...

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Unformatted text preview: CHAPTER 5 The Wayang World “Inst as in a discussion of a whole culture, so in a discussion of wayang . . . there is no limit. While it is heing analyzed, the subject keeps ex- pending; as soon as we believe that its outermost limits have been reached, new vistas open up. This is heccmse wayang comprises all aspects of Java- nese culture. It is fitting therefore that in order to explain our inability to cope with the snhiect in its entirety, we should borrow the words con- stantly used by the Venerable Daiang: To sum it up, one night does not suffice. . . . The characterization is incomplete—there are too many shades. Therefore we break off this . . . presentation. Enough.’ "1 The Sphere A WORLD on snanows, the wayang is the legendary world of the traditional (now “classical”) Javanese theater. At its heart lies the shadow play.” Like the shimmering reflection of nature in a pool, the wayang world is the beguiling cultural twin of Javanese reality. It is populated by gods, noble and vile kings and princes, beautiful princesses, demons, giants, monsters, sages, servants, and clowus—all intimate members of the Javanese cultural family, tied to it by firm bonds of familiarity, love, and admiration. In its narrowest sense the word wayang (literally, shadow) today designates the flat, leather-carved rod puppet of the shadow play. The Javanese puppct’s own stylized shape exaggerates, like a shadow, the natural Javanese human form. One may say that a wayang’s shadow—oharp and steady or diffuse and fluttering-u is a shadow of a shadow. In its widest sense the word wayang has come to mean a dramatic performance, a play, a show, whether " The Balinese theater is not as strongly influenced by the shadow play as the Javanese. Cf. Beryl dc Zoete and Waltet Spies, Dance and Drama in Bali (London, 1952). —Tjan Tjoe Siam the actors be puppets or human beings. W’hcn used alone, the word wayang thus means either a shadow puppet or a shadow play; in the designation of some other play, a second qualifying term always follows, as for instance, wayang wong, a play (dance drama) per- formed by man, that is by living actors.‘ The “wayang world” embraces a variety of tradi- tional Javanese theaters, the principal forms of which will be described below. The first is wayang hnlit (haiit: skin, leather): the complete generic name for the ancient shadow play, knowu and beloved not only in Java but also in Bali as Well as in Javanese settlements in other regions. Both narration and dialogue are recited by the daiang, the storyteller, who manipulates all the puppets. The audi~ ence can sit either before or behind the screen and thus view either the actual puppets or their shadows. "‘ By extension, even a circus is sometimes referred to as wayang kuda (Ratio: horse, thus “horse Show"); and before the Dutch word hioslzop was thoroughly entrenched in Indo- nesian usage, the cinema was called by villagers woyang gam- har hidnp, “living pictures wayang” or wayang geiap, “dark wayang.” [1231 [124] LIVING TRADITIONS A vast corpus of myths is perpetuated and dissemi— nated by means of the shadow play. In their wayang kulit versions old Indonesian motifs alternate, inter- twine, or merge with the mythology of India which in turn is expanded and embroidered often beyond recog— nition. According to the content of the performed plays, lakon, the Javanese wayang kulit is subdivided into: 1) Wayang par-tea" (puma: primeval, original, an- cient) with a repertory drawn from four groups of myths:2 first, the so-called “Prehistory” based in part on the Adiparwa (prelude to the Mahabharata) and in part on ancient Indonesian mythology (plays based on this “prehistory” are usually performed only for exor- cising and propitiatory purposes); second, the cycle of myths known as Ardjuua Sasra Baa dealing with the origins of some prominent figures of the Ramayana and in which through the figure of Kresna (who like Rama is an incarnation of god Vishnu) the connection be- tween the Ramayana and the Mahabharata is estalr lished; third, the Ramayana properfl‘ fourth, the story of the Pandawa and the Korawa as related in the Mahabharata. Plays based on episodes of the Mahab— harata or revolving around particular heroes of this epic are by far the most numerous and popular among all the varieties of shadow plays. 2) Wayang gedog (the meaning of geclog is un- clear): its repertory of plays is based on the East Java“ * In Bali it is known as wayartg parwa (patient is possibly connected with the parwan, main divisions of the Mahab- harata). TWayang kulit plays based on the Ramayana are some— times classed separately as wayaag Rama. Plate 103. Javanese wayang kulit, shadow-play puppets. From left: young Sumbadra and young Ardjuna. nese Pandji legends; the leather puppets differ from those of wayang purwa in details of costume, especially of the headdresses; now relatively rare in Central Java but more popular in East Java where also the Damar Wulan legends enter into the wayang gedog repertory. 3) Wayaug madya (madya: middle): its plays are based on nineteenth—century epic poetry of the poet Ranggawarsita, having as themes the reign of the East Javanese pr0phet-king Djayabaya; formerly confined to the court of the Mangkunagara of Surakarta, wayang madya is now probably rarely if at all performed. In some Javanese writings the different kinds of shadow plays are made to correspond to successive pe- riods of Javanese history—with a suitably constructed genealogy of kings—from the era of their mythological ancestors (wayang purwa) to modern times Cwayang Pantja Silaf‘ for example, which COntinues into the his tory of the Republic)“ Some varieties of wayang are ascribed to individual rulers; others are remembered as inventions of individual dalangs. Because of their nar- rowly local or short-lived popularity, a number of wayang kulit varieties have not been included in the basic list above. Among them are wayang leulale, intro- duced under Hamengltu Buwana V (1822—1855), which dealt with the history of his Jogjaltarta domain; wayang dupara, devoted to the history of Surakarta; wayang wahana, invented by Mas Sutarto under the pseudonym Rshi Wahana, and probably the first at- tempt in the twentieth century to use the shadow play primarily as a vehicle for airing contemporaneous so- cial problemsfl' wayang Dja'wa, invented by a regent of Suraltarta whose appellation (as dalang?) was Duta- dilaga, glorified the deeds of Prince Diponegoro, hero of the Java War (18254830); waytmg leantjil, created by the Solonese painter and wayang-maker Baden Mas Sajid, for performing stories about Mouse Deer Chant- jil), hero of numerous popular fables; wayang perti- jaartgaa, also by R. M. Sajid, for popularizing heroism in guerrilla warfare during the Indonesian revolutiom wayang suluh, invented in 1947 in Madiun upon the initiative of a Youth Congress, in which naturalistic Hat leather puppets of Indonesian leaders, officials, mili- tary and civilian personages as well as their opponents “ "' See p. 202. 'l‘ Subtle allusions to current events and problems occur also in wayang purwa and other shadow plays, especially in the comical dialogues of the clowns and remarks by the story- teller. (representatives of the Netherlands Government) and mediating foreigners (representatives of the United Nations), all in modern dress, appeared in plays about the revolutionary war and the subsequent United Na- tions sponsored negotiations; wayang poetics—silo, de signed by Harsono. Hadisoeseno for the political edu- cation of the masses, in which the five Pandawa broth- ers of the Mahabharata were made to symbolize the five principles of the Indonesian state proclaimed by President Sukarno;"L finally, the shadow play acquired a special form and name in wayang Adam Ma’rifat in a district near Magelang, Central Java, where an Is— lamic mystic sect by that name used it as a vehicle for instruction.‘ I may add that personally I had learned in 195 5-«1957 of at least one case where wayang kulit was similarly used by a Christian mission in Central Java for dramatizing religious themes with one puppet rep- resenting the Blessed Virgin. These various modern attempts to harness the shadow play for propaganda are but shallow inlets compared with the deep, broad stream of mythology which has been captivating untold generations in the lands of Southern Asia—from India to Indonesia. Traditionally, the function of the shadow play is bound up with ex‘orcism, propitiation, and invocation of fertility. The appearance on the shadow screen of the gods and mythical heroes who fight their demonic adversaries was perhaps formerly tantamount to an 'in- vocation of ancestral spirits and powerful deities to promote welfare. Among the special plays of the “pre- history” cycle of wayang purwa which are regarded as particularly efficacious for ritual purification to avert evil——a ceremony called ngmwat in Java—the lakon (play) Mamakaia is regarded as both magically dan- gerous as well as potent: Batara Kala (the wrathful emanation of Shiva) and Batari Durga (destructive form of his consort, Uma) appear in this play. Lakons about Dewi Sri, goddess of the rice, are performed to bless the rice crops and prevent their destruction by pests. The story of Watt: Gtmang, an unwittingly in- cestuous king whose mother-wife contrives to destroy him by sending him to the abode of the gods where he perishes, is said to be performed in East Java to Secure rainfall. Occasionally the story of Brayut, so popular in * The Indonesian Communist Party also utilized the most popular hero of the Mahabharata, Ardjuna, endowing his all- conquering magic weapon, the arrow Pasopati, with the ham— mer and. sickle insignia. THE WAYANG WORLD [125] Bali, about a couple with a horde of children, is per- formed in the shadow play at wedding celebrations. At the same time, however, wayang performances are also highly prized secular entertainment. When they are broadcast in Java by radio, the public is con- tent ‘to- enjoy only ‘th'e Voice of ,the dalang-and the wayang music. But just as lovers of music invariably gather by special permit in a broadcasting studio in the West, so a small crowd of wayang lovers invariably gathers in a broadcasting studio in Djakarta or Jogja— karta to see the actual performance. But, whatever the occasion, the dalang never fails to lay down some offerings of rice and of flowers floating in a water-filled bowl and to light some incense with a short prayer be- fore he Opens the play. Sometimes he holds a few of the puppets over the rising smoke of incense and with an incantation propitiates the magically potent person- ages they embody: bringing down to earth deities and semidivine beings in name and image is not free from danger. The sacred nature of the shadow play and its magic efficacy are still strongly felt not only by the of- ficiant dalang, but by the people as well. There are two other puppet theaters related to the shadow play but performed without a shadow screen so that only the puppets themselves are viewed by the audience. But, as in the shadow play, the dalang, is both the narrator and speaker for all characters as well as manipulator of the puppets. A Second traditional form is way-an g kittih, or kemtjil (both words indicate smallness): its flat wooden pup pets are carved in relief and painted but the articulated arms are of leather; the repertory, in Central Java, consists of plays based on the Damar Wulan story; now rare in Central Java, it is still pOpular in East Java where Pandji stories also serve as themes for wayang klitik plays. Wayang golek is a third form: it is performed with wooden, three-dimensional, costumed rod puppets (golek); the repertory in Central Java consists of plays based on stories about an Arabian prince, Amir Hamzah (an uncle of the Prophet Mohammad), whose adven- tures are related in the Javanese work Serat Menah; in West Java, Sunda, the heroes of the wayang golek stage are also those of the Ramayana and the Mahab- harata; while very popular in Java (especially West Java and Jogjakarta in Central Java), the wayang .golek theater is not known in Bali. _ Very little has been written about wayang klitik and [126] LIVING TRADITIONS wayang golel-t" compared with the extensive literature devoted to the shadow play. Both lack the latter’s depth of tradition and, although often performed semiritually in conjunction with family celebratiOns, they are not enveloped by as great an aura of mystery and sacred- ness. Also, in the absence of a shadow screen, wayang lditik puppets Seem somehow more material and more limited in their effect than the shadow puppets. As fer the round goleks, these are so realistic, except, of course, for the demonic characters, especially in Central Java, that they look like miniature human beings (about 18 inches high) dressed up for the stage (Pl. 104). Their expressive faces, like very good masks, have fluid smiles, fierce sc0wls, are sweetly dignified or riotously gro— tesque. In West Java the goleks’ faces are much more stylized. The puppets’ colorful cestumes include repli- cas of Javanese court dress. Some male characters are attired in eighteenth- or nineteenth-century gold- braided jackets of European inspiration combined with caps or turbans, some in Arab style. But all puppets wear the Javanese lung batik skirt to hide the dalang’s hand which holds the puppet by its central rod handle. The construction of a golek puppet is as simple as it is ingenious. The principal wooden components are: a roughly shaped truncated torso with a vertical hole drilled through its center; arms, in two parts strung together at the elbow and dangling loosely from the shoulders; a carefully carved and painted head, com- plete with headdress, with a somewhat elongated neck; finally, one pointed central rod, serving also as handle, and two thinner rods which are attached to the hands. The mechanism works thus: the central rod, passed freely through the torso and emerging between the shoulders, serves as pivot for the head, the neck of which is fitted tightly onto the rods upper point; be- low the torso the rod broadens to prevent the trunk from slipping downward but with enough leeway to create the effect of the puppet panting, as after a fight, or of indignation, by repeatedly pushing the trunk up and letting it slide doWn again. By twisting the central rod, the puppeteer can make a golek’s head turn in all directions which greatly enlivens its dance and other m0vements in conjunction with the arm gestures pro duced by the rods attached to the hands. Wayang golek is probably the youngest and most secular of all Javanese puppet theaters. It may have been introduced into the island’s interior from the northern coastal regions. The port cities along Java’s north coast are centers from which Islam in the past had spread inland. Also, around these trading centers Chinese settlements had clustered for centuries. The Amir Hamzah stories, so prominent in the wayang Plate 104. Iavanesa wayang golek puppets from Jogiakarm. Center: Prince Machtal with Kuraisin faces the demonic Lokayanti. Plate 105. Section of sixth wayang bébér scroll of Patjitaa, South Java. Third scene: in the Center, Selmr Tadji (Tiandra Kirana), attended by wise woman, receives her brother prior to her wedding with Pandji. (Figures to extreme left belong to preceding scene.) golek repertory, may have been brought, in Persian versions, by the carriers of Islam who presumably came from India. Among the Chinese Settlers round puppets seem to have been known, but they were either hand puppets or string marionettes.6 If the Javanese bor- rowed the idea of round puppets from the Chinese, it may have been natural for them to change the finger or string techniques to that of rods with which they were long familiar. In West Java among the Sundanese, wayang golek is so popular that it takes precedenCe over the shadow play and includes the latter’s repertory; plays based on the Ramayana and the Mahabharata (puma) and the Pandji legends (gedog) are performed there as well as stories of the Amir Hamzah cycle. There used to be still another manner of performing wayang stories known as wayang bébe‘r (behér: un- folding). It consisted of illustrations painted on long horizontal scrolls which the dalang unrolled, scene after scene, for the audience to see, as he recited the tale, speaking and chanting; the stories thus depicted and narrated included those of the purwa, gedog, and klitik repertories. I met a wayang bébér dalang who may well have been the last of his kind in Java, with his old scrolls and his small group of musicians, in 1937, in the vi]- lage of Gedompol in the Patjitan region of South Java. He had six scrolls, each divided into four scenes, painted on what seemed to be a sort of bark-cloth paper, badly frazzled at the edges and darkened by age to brownish—yellow tints. They were perhaps more than a hundred years old.‘ To my knowledge no one produces wayang beber scrolls any moreri' But it must have been a popular form of storytelling for centuries. Ma Huan, a Chinese Moslem who was secretary to an eminent * See Appendix III for summary of the wayang bébér lakon depicted in these scrolls. TFrom Benedict R. US. Anderson, Camel] University, who returned in 1964 from two years of field research in In- donesia, I learned that the wayang beber scrolls here described still exist, are in the possession of a group of related families who keep them in turn each for a few months, and that per- formances are still being given for magic purification purposes. They claim that the scrolls have existed For twelve generations. Mr. Anderson also reported that excellent copies, painted on cloth, have been and are still being made of the wayang hither scenes in Solo, not to be used for performances, but as paint- ings which seem to attract some connoisseurs. [128] LIVING TRADITIONS admiral sent by a Ming emperor on a mission to South- east Asia, wrote about Java in 1416: There are a sort of men who paint on paper men, birds, animals, insects and so on; the paper is like a scroll and is fixed between two wooden rollers three feet high; at one side these rollers are level with [the edge of] the paper whilst they protrude at the other side. The man squats down on the ground and places the picture before him, unrolling one part after the other and turning it towards the spectator, whilst in the native language and in a loud voice he gives an explanation of every part; the spectators sit around him and listen, laughing and crying according to what he tells them." Finally, to our wayang world belong several forms of the human theater. Wayang wong"‘ or wayaag orang (wong and orang: man, in Javanese and Indonesian respectively) is dance drama in which the dalang only recites and chants, and the dialogue is spoken by the actors themselves; the repertory of wayang wong plays is based on the Ramayana and the Mahabharata (thus a counterpart of wayang purwa). Wayang topeng (top- eng: mask) is a dance—pantomime play by masked ac— tors in which the plot is narrated by a dalang and the subject of which are plays based on Pandji stories Ca counterpart of wayang gedog). Langendriya C'on of the Hearts”) is a dance—opera with an all-female cast in vogue until World War II at the court of the late Mangltunagara VII of Surakarta. The plays were epi- sodes of the Damar Wulan story (thus a counterpart of wayang klitilt). In the last decade colorful perform- ances of Damar Wulan plays have entered the reper- tory of the popular theater known as Ketoprak. Thus the plays of the wayang theaters include themes drawn from the epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, in versions made thoroughly Indonesian; a corpus of plays derived from indigenous East Java- nese legends; and stories adapted from Arabian tales. In all the different theatrical forms in which these plays appear, whether the action is illustrated in static pic- torial sequences as in the nearly defunct wayang beber, or executed by puppets or by men, music elevates on its melodies and carries the imagery and words of the unfolding drama. The link between these various forms of traditional theater, which makes them a part of what we have chosen to call the “wayang world,” is not simply that they share the same stories, or that the dalang plays a - " See Chapter 6 below, on dance drama. central role in 111051: of them, or that music is an in— tegral element in the performance, or even that almost all of them are called wayang. What unites them is that they are governed by the same canons—in the structure of the plays (lakon) and in the typology of their heroes. Moreover, they all reflect the same shadowy yet glitter- ing universe permeated with supernatural forces, ever charged with tensions, in which the plot always thick- ens like gathering thunderclouds that lead up to a. cli- mactic clash, the crucial battle betWeen the protagon- ists of the “right” and those of the “left.” They are all spiced by the farcical humor of grotesque servant— clowns, (known as panahawan in Java and parekan in Bali). And, not least, they all have been influenced, in Java especially, by the stylistic Conventions of the shadow play, whose wayang style, as we have seen, had also strongly affected the style of the plastic arts in East Java and Bali from the thirteenth century 11.1)." Wayang Kalit, lts Origins Just how and when the shadow play began to de» Vel'Op in Indonesia is still a matter of conjecture. The earliest record confirming the existence of a perform- ance called “wayang” in Central Java dates from an. 907. A stone inscription issued by King Balitung mend tions mawayang, performing wayang. It cannot be proven, that this was indeed a shadow play but the pos- sibility exists. Even the name of the story is given— the Bimmaya Kama—possibly a story about Bima, hero of the Mahabharata. The inscription states that the performance was given "for the gods.” The occa- sion was a ritual dedication of a freehold for the benefit of the god of a local monastery. The various entertain- ments that followed the consecration rites were held “for the welfare of the sacred foundation and of all subjects.”'l‘ The inscription clearly proves that at the beginning of the tenth century some form of wayang together with dances, music, songs, and buifmnery and also the recitation of the Ramayana and the Mahabha- rata were part of ritual celebrations held by ruling princes and that a “wayang” was in the nature of an offering to the gods and an invocation ensuring the people’s welfare: One may assume that in King Bali— tung’s time the mawayang practice was not new, but " See Chapter 3. 1' See Appendix II, p. 282. I Cf. Appendix II, p. 287. how much earlier it existed there is no way of ascer- taming. IShadow plays are known to exist or to have existed in many parts of the world, from Eastern Asia to the Mediterranean. The oldest is presumably the shadow play of India which Pischel traces back to the time of “the very old” Pali canon, the Buddhist Therigata, which may have been compOSed in the first century 13.0. When a nun named Subha, while promenading in a mango grove, was accosted by a Taugenichts (good-for—nothing), as Pischel says, she reprimanded him in the following words: You throw yoursalf, oh blind one, upon something non- existent even as upon a mirage evoked before your eyes, upon a golden tree appearing in a dream a shadow play (mppampakam) amidst a human crowd.“3 As in Indonesia, where through the centuries dif- ferent terms appear for “shadow play,” so in India through the ages different words were used which are now interpreted to mean “shadow play” or “shadow- play puppet.” Following the mpparfipaka(m) of the Pali canon, the term mpdpafivana appears, which, ac- cording to Pischel, at least, incontrovertibly refers to a theater with leather puppets. This word is found in a passage of the twelfth book of the Mahabharata and is commented on by Nilikhanta (in the seventeenth cen— tury) as follows: “Rapopajivana is known among the people of the south as jalamandapika. In it, after a thin cloth has been spanned, the doings of kings, ministers, etc. are brought before the eyes [of the onlookers] by means of figures [made] of leather.” The term most often cited for the ancient Indian shadow play is chayanataka, translated as shadow drama. It appears in a thirteenth-century literary work, the Dutangada, “Angada as Envoy,” a dramatized epi- sode of the Ramayana. Its author, Subhata, expressly introduced his play as a chayanataka. Pische'l notes that in Thailand, too, a playscript based on the Rama— yana was marked with the word nang (leather), the name of the still—flourishing Thai shadow play. Be- cause of this analogy and for other reasons he surmised, in 1906, that the Indian chayanataka was a continua- tion in literary (italics ours) form of what Once must have been a shadow—puppet folk theater.“ There is evidence, however, that the Indian shadow play actually exists (or at least existed in 1935) in THE WAYANG WORLD [129] South India, in a region of Kerala" among the Nayar, a matrilineal warrior caste famous for its specialization in the heroic Kathakali, dance—drama performances of the Ramayana and Mahabharata.“ An interesting eye- witness account of the Kerala shadow play appears in an article by Stan Harding.“ His description is worth bearing in mind for later comparison with the Javanese wayang kulit. The performance described by Harding was given by a small troupe of players, headed by a guru, that always went on tour during February, March, and April. The performance took place near a banyan- shaded road close to a little Nayar village community. It was the last day of an extensive festival, not further defined. A procession of the puppets carried by their manipulators and accompanied by Brahmans and a vellichapad (“through whose mouth a goddess is sup- posed to utter oracles when he danced himself into frenzy”13), went from the temple to the playhouse. On Harding’s photograph the playhouse appears as a small, rectangular thatched structure with a half—wall along the visible long side of the house. He mentions that during the play the manipulators of the puppets were hidden behind the half-wall and projected the puppets’ shadows On a white screen which, presumably, spanned the opening between the half-wall and the roof above them. The source of light was Mphor and incense burning in a hollow bamboo ab0ut one foot in length. (Several camphor torches were used in an effective scene of conflagration, as when Sita undergoes her or- deal by fire.) Harding says that the shadows of the puppets were far more beautiful than the figures themselves; sOme were rather dilapidated and may have been between sixty and a hundred years old; others were new. They were made of perforated deer skin (cows being sacred). Silhouettes of four puppets are reproduced with the article: one is of Hanuman, the white monkey-hero of the Ramyaaa, in profile—an isolated standing figure with one articulating hand extended forward. The other three are seated figures: Rama on a throne, three- quarter face, with one articulating arm; Rawana, like- wise enthroned, full face, with one or two articulating arms; Sita, seated in a bower with a bird perched on a branch before her. Her one articulating arm was re- moved for the photograph because it was disproportion- " Since writing this, I have learned from Dr. Joan Mencher, anthropologist who did field research in Kerala, that the shadow play is know in adjacent Andhra. [130] LIVING TRADITIONS ately long and clumsy, probably a recent poor substi- tute for the original arm. During the performance, apart from battle scenes, the puppets often remained stationary, gesticulating only a little with the right or left hand (as also happens in Java). The story was re- cited by two singers who chanted either in unison or in response to each other. The words of the song were from Kamhar’s Ramayana, of which Harding saw two palm-leaf manuscripts, one in the possession of the guru, and the other carried in a basket along with the puppets. The poet Kambar was said to have lived a thousand years ago at the court of a Chola king who had commanded him to tell the story in songs. But like many of his illustrious colleagues through the ages the poet preferred drinking and singing to writing; so, to save him from disgrace, the goddess of the arts, Sara— svati, herself wrote the songs for him. Harding stated that a shadow play lasted at least seven nights, but that a “normal run” was twenty-one nights; and that, "under very favorable circumstances,” it might continue for forty-one nights. Each night at the beginning of the play, the shadows of two Brahman pilgrims were cast on the screen and they recapitulated the events of the preceding nights. They also appeared at other times commenting on the developments of the play. As will be seen later, there are notable elements in this South Indian shadow play which have parallels in Indonesia: an aura of sacredness; the theme of the play (Ramayana); chanted recitation; the type of puppets, (rod puppets made of leather); and the presence of commentators (in Kerala, two pilgrim Brahmans, in Indonesia, servant-clowns). Features unlike those of the wayang kulit in Java and Bali include: more than one performer manipulating the puppets; the absence of instrumental music and of spoken narration and dia- logue; the style of the puppets in general, and in par- ticular the occurrence of seated figures (all wayang kulit puppets are standing figures"). Comparing the South Indian shadow puppets with those found east and west of India, a student of the shadow theater is confronted with the question: paral— lel invention or diffusion? In each area, the style and composition have some elements common to one or more of the others. To the west, plays with shadow figures which are not really puppets but rather static silhouettes of human figures in a “landscape” (similar ‘To indicate that they are seated, the puppeteer lowers them so that their feet disappear. to the Kerala figure of Site in a bower) are known in Egypt, where they can be traced back to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries an.“ In Turkey, articulated flat leather puppets, CIOser to that of the Kerala Hanu- man, are used in the ribald Karagoz plays15 which have spread along the North African coast as far as Algeria.16 To the east, Indonesia is the outstanding land of the shadow theater and presumably Thailand borrowed this art from Java. Comparison between the Kerala figures, especially the seated ones, and the Thai nang silhouettes of seated beings within decorative floral frames may perhaps, howevar, suggest a different theory. The origin of the shadow play in Thailand, accord- ing to H. H. Prince Dhaninivat, is however of compare lively recent date. The earliest authentic mention of the nang is found in the Palatine Law of King Borcr matrailokanath enacted in 1458. A less dependable source historically, a romance written in the eighteenth century, includes the shadow play among the arts prac- ticed at the thirteenth-century court of Sukhothai." Thus the distinctive style of the Thai nang must have developed in the course of the last five centuries. The nang figures, large, elegant, often leaf-shaped and static configurations, are held up by half-dancing performers and thus sway and move in space in toto. Despite the divergence in the style of figures and technique of per- formance, it is generally accepted that Thailand’s nang play was originally inSpired by the Indonesian wayang kulit which had spread to the Malay Peninsula and thence northward to Thailand.18 A parallel develop- ment was the spread of Pandji tales, knOWn in both Malaya and Thailand where they have provided a rich source for both literature and drama. Situated betWeen Indonesia and Thailand, the north- ern parts of Malaya have shadow plays known as waytmg Djawa and wayang Siam. The Hat leather fig- ures are cruder versions of the Javanese wayang pup~ pets and of the Thai nang silhouettes, respectively.“ Gesturing shadow-play puppets, translucent and multicolored, delight audiences at shadow plays in China. The origin of the Chinese shadow theater, known' as ying-hsi (also transcribed as ying-yi), is as- cribed in a Chinese encyclopedic work to the be- ginning of the eleventh century.20 The pertinent pas- sage as quoted by Jacob reads: “Only at the time of Jn—tsung (1023—1064) of the Sung dynasty could one find among the market peeple narrators of the history of the three states . . . ; some of them extracted stories from it, embellished them [farther] and made up shadow people Cying—jn). It was then that for the first time figures (hsiang) were made of the battles of the three states, Shu, Wei, and Wu?“ Jacob also mentions an interesting episode reported by the Persian, Dshuwani, connected with "wonderful Chinese plays, never seen before by anyone, behind a screen.” It was performed before the Mongol ruler Ogotai, third son and successor of Jenghiz Khan. In one scene an old, turbaned man, attached by his 10ng beard to a horse’s tail, was being dragged along the ground. When Ogotai asked who he was, the visiting Chinese explained that he was “one of those rebellious Moslems whom the soldiers bring in this manner from the towm.” Ogotai ordered the show to be suspended.22 Up to the nineteen-thirties at least, Chinese shadow plays were performed in Mongolia, but always by Chinese and in the Chinese language.“ So far scholarly opinions remain divided or non- committalz“ as regards the origin of the Javanese way- ang kulit. If the shadow play indeed was not known in China befOre the Sung dynasty, a theory that it was introducdd to the Indonesian islands from China would be untenable. A reverse process might even be cun- sidered since by the tenth century sea traffic between China and IndOnesia was already fully developed. As originally surmised by Krom, India remains the most likely source of the shadow play that spread to Indonesia, developing, significantly perhaps, only in the two pro-eminently Hinduized islands, Java and Bali;25 And if the Kerala shadow play may be taken as an indication of a long persisting regiOnal tradition, it suggests that South India in particular may have been the source of its transmission to Java. Is it perhaps no mere coincidence that in the Old Javanese charter is- sued by Maharaja Sri Lokapala in an. 840, three kinds of perfOrmers—atapukan, ariaggit,‘ and alluvial—are mentioned in one breath with “servants of the inner apartments hailing from Champs, Kalinga, Aryya, Cey- lon, Cola, Malabar [my italics], and Karnataka?”'|' There are three arguments in favor of the inde- pendent invention of the shadow play in Indonesia: "‘ Ringgit is the term used in the eleventh-century Old Javanese poem Ardjuno Wiwaha for a leather-carved shadow puppet; this meaning has been retained in modern “High” Javanese (lemma). The fr'bnt veranda of Javanese houses, within the inner doorway of which the wayang screen is cus- tomarily installed, and which thus serves as place for shadow- play performances, is called paringgiton. 'i' See Appendix II, p. 281. THE WAYANG west!) [13]] the theory of Rassers that it has evolved from ancient indigenous initiation rites”; the fact that all parts of the wayang’s technical equipment are designated by indigenous and not by Indian terms“; and the presence of the strikingly original figures of the servant-clowns who have a very prominent role in wayang plays but no counterparts in the Indian epics. These clowns are thought to be purely Indonesian mythological divine beings (seemingly demoted to the status of servants but actually powerful) who preceded the Indian epic heroes on the shadow screen.23 One should remember, however, that while such semicomical satellites do not appear in the epics, they do appear on the ancient Indian stage as the vidushalm, "a Brahman but ugly and ridiculous.” The shadow play, wherever performed, is a superb medium for storytelling. In each of the countries where it exists, it has acquired its own repertory and a distinct technique and style of its own. And the myths, sen-Li— histories] tales, rornances, or satires that are brought to life on the shadow screen are at the very core of the people’s culture. Thus, wherever its technique may have originated, the Indonesian wayang kulit also is a uniquely Javanese and Balinese CIeation——-in the form and content of its plays, in the style of its extraordinary puppets, and in the manner of presentation by the storyteller, the “Venerable Dalang.” The Delang and His Theater The dalang is the central force of the wayang world. Playwright and producer, principal narrator and con- ductor, he is the creator and prime mover of the illusory shadow world. He transports his audience into the realms of ancient lore by the sounds of his voice, as he chants of remote kingdoms, the strivings of the heroes, or poetically' evokes sweet, strident, or ominous moods. He brings to life the puppets in his hands, making them seek, wander, grieve, and rejoice, and he speaks for each in ever changing timbres and accents. The Javanese poet R. M. Noto Soeroto in his ‘Wayang Songs” has likened God to a Supreme Dalang.” The art of the dalang, formerly passed on from father to son and from master to apprentice, but nowa- days taught also in special schools in Central Java, de mands much knowledge, high skills, and great disci- x' 368p. 115. [132] LIVING TRADITIONS pline. What a dalang must know is listed by one ex- pert,”o himself an eminent dalang, in the following order: Titth (history), that is knowledge of the old stories, the history of kings [not least their genealogies], etc. Gending (music): a truly deep understanding of the melodies, modes and phases, songs, etc. required for the accompaniment of a wayang performance. Gemiéng (recitation): mastery of the chanted reci- tation accompanied by the music of the gmnelan [or~ chestra of Javanese instruments] as well as of the Spoken recitation linked with the gamelan’s sounds. Gandeng (detached daring): “to behave like a per- son unrufHed by anything,” to be "self-forgetful,” with- out embarrassment or fear of playing the fool. Balsam (language): mastery of various “levels” [modes] of speech appropriate to the status of each wayang figure. Ompak-ompakan (eloquence): “exaggeration”; “the dalang must be able to describe the beauty of all crea— tion in eloquent words which enhance it beyond mere reality and this in a way proper to pawayangan [art of shadow play].” limo. hatin (spiritual knowledge): “to be able to ex- pound the essence of this knorvledge, when, for ex— ample, the dalang speaking for a priest gives advice to a ksatriya. Spiritual knowledge here does not refer to religion (agama), but to the perfection of the soul and to magic power (kesaktion).” These requirements do not even touch up0n the dalang’s other essential accomplishments, especially his techniques in the art of puppetry (sahettm). The writer seems to take these for granted. The stress is on the art of storytelling, its relationship to the music, the ability of a dalang to dramatize his narration in a state of “self—forgetfulness,” and on "spiritual knowledge”—the metaphysical teachings of priests and sages, knowl— edge of charms and the magic powers of deities and demons. There are striking parallels between the qualifica- tions demanded of a dalang and those that were re- quired, on the one hand, of the Indian sutradhara, di— rector and producer of classical drama and, on the other, of a shaman who officiates today in a Dayak com— munity of Central Borneo. About the sutradhara of ancient India, Jeannine Auboyer writes: The director of the troupe was simultaneously the architect of the theater . . . the producer of the play, the teacher of his comedians and the leading actor. His duties were demanding and the qualities he had to possess were werthy of high officials. Judge for yourselves—he had to know everything that concerned musical instruments, the tech- nical manuals, the numerous dialects, the art of conducting, the commerce of courtesans, the writings on poetry, man- ners and fashions, eloquence, dramatic acting, the crafts, versiiication, the planets and the lunar zodiac, colloquial speech, the world, the countries, the mountains, the inhabi- tants, ancient history, the genealogies of kings.31 From contempomry Borneo, where a team of young anthropologists were recently studying a Ma’anjan Dayak village, comes the following report: The median [shamanistic priestess] must be able to go into trance, for trance is the door to the spirit world where, especially in healing ceremouies, the causes and cures for sickness must be sought. She must be an expert dancer, must possess the stamina to see her through a ritual that may last between an hour and nine days, and above all she must be able to master verbatim the countless chants which accompany the ceremonies she will be called upon to per— form. In addition to her function as a religious practitioner and healer, the median also fills the role of local historian. Among her chants is a complete recounting of the origins and wanderings of the Ma’anjan people, the whys and wherefores of their customs and traditions, the names of their heroes and the genealogies of their great families. Finally, the wadion provides the village with its primary source of entertainment. All wadian performances are “open to the public,” and it is a quiet week when there is no wadian ceremony in one of the villages of Padju Epat. The people of Telang, regardless of religion, will indeed travel for miles to watch a famous wadian in action.32 In the continuum of dramatic art—from shaman to stage director—the dalang, like the wadian of Borneo, is both Officiant of a magically efficacious ritual and entertainer; and, like the Indian sutradhara he is the organizer, creator, and conductor of a dramatic play as well as its leading performer. Wayang kulit, having grown out of sacred rites, is thus no exceptiOn in the general history of the theater. Still strongly linked to its ritual beginnings, wayang kulit has also attained'the ultimate stage of a sophisticated theater art. The meaning of the word “dalang” is interpreted in two ways. One of the given meanings is “itinerant,” suggesting an itinerant performer.as The other con- nects the title to concepts of creativity and ingenuity, suggesting that the dalang is a man having skill in creation, also wisdom, the title thus having a connota- .I___ __,!I\ _ tion that inspires respect.” Dalangs are indeed highly respected members of their c0mmunities; they are re- ferred to with the honorific Ki (abbreviatiOn for Kyahi), or Venerable, as shown by the motto of this section. The dalang is obviously a superior person. Apart from his skills, he must have great endurance; tradition— ally a wayang kulit performance starts after sundown and lasts without interruption until sunrise, with the dalang as sole performer, never leaving his place. Dur— ing the whole night he sits crossnlegged on his mat be- fore the white screen (kelir), illuminated by a lamp which hangs above and a little forward of his head. The flickering Flame of an oil lamp, blentjrmg (dam in Bali), used to create a much warmer and more ani- mated atmOsphere than the cold steady light of an electric bulb which is increasingly coming into use. Two banana stems, penetrable but firm enOugh to support a puppet stuck into the pulp by the pointed end of its handle, are attached horizontally along the lower edge of the screen and thus serve as “podium.” To the dalang’s left, within reach of his right foot, stands a wooden chest, kotakf on which he knocks out with a wooden mallet warning accents at some dramatic moments and signals to the musicians at transitions to new melodies or rhythms. The musicians are ranged * A set of wayang puppets is referred to as 3 hotels, i.e. "chest (of puppets)” THE WAYANG WORLD [133] behind him or at his side, seated on mats behind their instruments, the mere names of which reflect the gamelan’s sonorities: gender, boating, some, henong, kempul, gong or the duller accents of a hawk.” The plaintive sounds of the rehab (one-string violin of Arabo—Persian origin) and the playful or nostalgic voice of a flute (suling) insinuate themselves into the gamelan’s chiming fugues. From time to time the dalang adds jarring sounds of clashing metal plates, kepyalt, suspended from the wall of the wooden box; he Strikes them with a cylindrical hard knob wedged between the toes of his right foot to simulate the clamor of war and to provide harsh accents to the blows and counterblows of battling heroes. Thus, in the motions of his arms, hands, fingers, feet and voice, the dalang must maintain, often simultaneously, differing rhy- thmic patterns. Often a dalang carves his own wayangs. But whether or not he produces them himself, he has the most inti- mate knowledge of their iconography which, as we shall presently See, is a vast field. The number of varia- tions in the wayangs' fantastic shapes is astouishing. The puppets themselves are the product of infinite care and meticulous skill. Their silhouettes are first carved out of buffalo parchment and then the features and adornments are perforated in fine lines, dots, hair- thin curves and scrolls until, viewed against the light, some parts are like exquisite filigree?6 Painth and Plate 106. ‘Wayang Kulit Performance," ink wash, anonymous, Bataan, Bali, c. 1955. [134] LIVING TRADITIONS gilded identically on both sides, the puppet is inserted between the gripping halves of a split, uprd-curving, and tapering stem (gapit) which grows out of a solid handle with a pointed end. Most puppets have in ad- dition two manipulating rods (tjempurit) attached to their hands. The only points of articulation are the elbows and the shoulder joints. But motion is not re- stricted to the arms since the whole puppet can be tilted, made to advance or recede, dance, fight, fall and rise, turn, hover, or descend from heights. There are many gradations in quality. The finest puppets are masterpieces of lacy leatherwork and have stems and rods made of horn. The cruder ones lack the great finesse of the openwork, have coarser coloring and wooden stems and rods. At the sight of a fine wayang puppet, a warm glow of recognition, appreciation, and aflection suffuses a Javanese who has known its shape since childhood. “Ah, Gatutkatja!” The puppet of the flying hero (Pl. 107) is lovingly held by its handle, the ends of the other two rods are gathered between the connoisseur’s fingers to give the puppet’s arms appro- priate angles, and then the wayang is raised, admired for a moment, made to hover, soar, and then swoop down like a hawk. A warm glance and a happy smile. Or, “Hah, Bima!” (See Pl. 116.) Recognition is in- stantaneous, although in a glance all iconographic de- tails have been verified; the checkered loincloth, the Plate 107. The flying hero Gatutkotja, wayang kulit, Java. long nail of the thumb protruding from a closed fist, the upturned nose and round eyes of the round face straining forward as if pulling ahead the whole wide- stanced, impetuous figure. A lay bystander may receive an explanation: “This is Ardjuna during ascesis, you see, his hair grown long.” Identification of wayangs usually releases long discussions of their genealogy. The manual dexterity of the dalang matches his vocal versatility. In agitated scenes, as of fighting, he holds one wayang in each hand and makes them threaten, clash, stab with a dagger, or shoot off an ar~ row. The gestures of each puppet are produced by the nimble fingers of only the hand that holds it; to an untrained person, even holding up a wayang in one hand and manipulating its two rods with the other is a problem. The dalang also varies and enhances the effects of the puppets’ shadows by placing them at certain angles to the screen so that the shadows become distorted and more diffuse than the sharp, dark sil- houettes of the figures standing flush against the screen. Thus blacks and grays, sharpness and diffusion, im- mobility and a wide range of movements are in constant interplay. When the dalang has set up his stage, he sticks into the center of the banana-stem “podium” the symbol of the wayang world, the kayon (or kekayon), also known as gunungcn (Pl. 108). Kayon is derived from kayu, tree, and gunungmt from gunung, mountain. The sym- metrical leaf—shaped figure is thus a combination of tree and mountain or predominantly one of the two. Indeed its outline suggests a peaked mountain and within its confines the principal perforated and painted figure is a tree with spreading branches and with a flaming kala head in its crOWn. Birds, monkeys, and other creatures nestle in the tree. Below, the tree trunk is flanked by two beasts—two tigers, a lion and an elephant, two wild bulls, or others. At its foot there is often a closed, winged portal, guarded at each side by a ferocious armed doorkeeper. It looks like a gate to a sanctuary, or perhaps heaven. Much has been written about this fascinating fig- ure.37 Though the elements of its internal design vary, they are always mythological symbols of the eternal. The mountain is the Mountain of the gods, the World Mountain; the tree is the Tree of Life, the Celestial Wishing-Tree of myth, bearing a solar symbol. Unlike the puppets, the kayon’s figures are painted on only one side. The reverse, usually turned toward the screen, is all Ied——it is fire. The kayon-gunungan stands for the cosmic order, the realm of the gods, the universe" It places the shadow play within a sacred world. It has in fact a parallel (or perhaps prototype) in ancient India where a lavishly decorated tree trunk called jarjara was placed on the stage and worshiped during the pre- lude to a dramatic play. This jarjara was a version of “Indra’s staff,” or banner, known as Indradhvaja, a decorated tree trunk around which the lord of the slty and King of Gods was worshiped with offerings, dances, songs and plays and “all other things generally attend- ing the festive homage to a mighty god.”as When in the course of the shadow play there is an ominous commotion in nature (gara-gara), a sign that the cosmic order is being threatened, the kayon’s agi- tated, fluttering shadow streaks acmss the screen indi— cating portentous storms; it inclines to horizontal pOsi- tion to suggest the waters, or, turned red side out, be- comes a conflagration. Sometimes the kayon represents a tree or a whole forest; often it is a mOuntain. But its main symbolic function is to create the divine setting for the play when, immobile and mysterious, like an oracle, it occupies the center of the screen before a performance begins. It appears there again between the play’s major periods, and finally at the conclusion of the show. Its reappearance seems to imply that “the World Order is stable and reigns supreme.” ‘Tantjeb kayon”—“implant the kayon”—is the equivalent of finis at the termination of every shadow-play script. The shape of the Balinese kayon (Pl. 109) differs from that of the Javanese as does the style of Balinese shadow—play puppets.39 In Bali, the kekayon has a rounded top and the lush foliage of the tree fills most of the figure. But here too beasts flank the trunk and the waters or underworld are symbolized by serpents at the foot of the tree. The style of Balinese wayangs, which are somewhat more naturalistic, lees elongated, and strongly resemble the figures on East Javanese re- liefs carved in "wayang style,”‘f' is generally considered " The kayon’s shape .and symbolism bring to mind the sil- houette and identical symbolism of the ancient Javanese tem— ple—mausoleum built for deified kings, the tjandi (see Part I). Many of the tjandi were decorated at their base with stone reliefs depicting ancestral stories (eg. the Ramayana at Tjandi Prambanan and Panataran; scenes from the life of the Pan— dawa progenitors at Tjandi Djalatunda; episodes from the Mahabharata at Tiandi Djago, etc.) These stories are also performed in the shadow play and there are put into cosmic context by means of the kayon. Thus wayang imagery perpetu- ates the ancient conceptions of a dominant world order sym— bolized by the World Mountain—conceptions which in cen- turies past had similarly been expressed in stone architecture. T See Chapter 3, pp. 82-8 3. [135] THE WAYANG WORLD Plate 108. Kayon, wayang kulit, Java. older than that of the JavaneSe wayangs. There are also more puppets in Balinese sets with unarticulated arms, by the way, than in Java; in addition, some of the figures have affinities with South Indian ones. The extreme stylizatiOn of the Javanese puppets may have evolved in the last two or three centuries. Whether it was stimulated by the desire to remove them still far- ther from any human semblance because of Islamic proscription of image-making, or whether it was merely an attempt to perfect their forms to enhance the effect of their shadows and expressiveness of their gestures is not certain. Stuttetheim suggested still another pos- sibility. Speaking of the wayang-shaped figures on the Ramayana reliefs on the main temple of Tjandi Pana— taran, he said: The formal treatment of these heroes is intimately related to their representation in the shadow play, wayang. In it, [136] LIVING TRADITIONS too, the figures must have undergOne a peculiar develop ment that made them into disembodied schemes, incom— prehensible to those who try to discern in them human beings. Their strange traits have evolved out of the con— tinuing process, which lasted for centuries, of developing ever farther the ancient Indian conceptions regarding phys— ical features associated with perfection. All the deviations From the natural forms of the ordinary mortal human body are based upon the teachings about "signs of good fortune,” the science of omens. The bodies of the wayang figures are model charts of such traits that denote supernatural pre— rogatives, propitious qualities, and signs. No conscious alteration has ever taken place, no self- willed imagination has ever participated in the creation of them wondrous forms. They just grew in the course of centuries. Plate 109. Kayon, wayang kulit, Bali. Stutterheim then pointed out that one of the striking features in the shape of the wayang heroes is their long arms. Now it is known, he said, that in ancient India dirgabéha [long-armed] was an honorific and a Sign of high qualities; that in the Citralaksm it is stated that one of the signs of perfection (laksana) of the universal ruler (cakmvartin) is the possession of very long arms which reach to the knees; that in the same laksana we find the origin of the very thin waist, the "liOn’s waist.” The eyes of the cakravartin according to the Citralaltsana, are "long-drawn.” And further: The more strongly these heroes are felt to be the spirits of ancestors and are assigned a special world in which their stories take place, the more the supernatural‘l and excep- tional qualities are stressed and the Farther their Forms de- part from human insufficiency and imperfection. Norms of beauty and the teachings about physical traits auguring good fortune in this case become identi .‘m In the opinion of contemporary Javanese, the long arms, long noses, and other exaggerated features are explicahle primarily as effective means for expressive shadow staging. The Play The plays, lalton, of the shadow theater, and for that matter of all other types of the Javanese traditiOnal theater, are not literary works as are old Indian stage plays or Western dramas. Seldom are they written in a complete form that includes the dialogue}1 Aside from the irnprovised dialogue, a shadow play has extensive narrative and descriptive parts recited by the dalang. Same of these, like his chants and certain stereotypes in speech, follow a traditional pattern; some are of the dalang’s own creation. The approximate meaning of the word lakon is “course (of events or action)” and this is what a lalmn script essentially provides: it is an organized listing of suCCessive scenes (djedjer and adegmz, that is, “arrays” and “stances”) of a play, It specifies for each scene the * The Buddha is also "long—armed,” “lion-waisted,” etc. T In Celtic mythology, Joseph Campbell (in a personal com- munication) noteS, there is “Lug of the Long Arms.”- He also draws attention to the long rays ending in hands of the Solar Disk Caron) in the depictions of Ilthnaton in ancient Egypt (1377—1358 3.13.). Cf. the long arms of the Rice Goddess on Balinese lomaks (see p. 176 and Pl. 198). place where the action occurs, the names of the partici- pating characters, and what they talk about and why, but without citing their precise words. As in the draft of a scenario, only the gist of the story and the develoP- ment of its plot are thus outlined. The structure of a lakon is more or less standard. The play which traditionally lasts ten hours" is di» vided into three principal phases, each containing a number of scenes. During the first phase, which lasts from about eight o’clock in the evening until shortly before midnight, the situation is defined. From the dalang’s description and narration, and from the conversations of the repre- sentatives of the parties involved in the plot, the cause of conflict—and there is always conflictabecomes clear. The conversations usually talre place in the palace hall of first one and then the other opposing monarchs. In their reception halls the kings (or gods, or demons) gather in council with their sons, prime ministers, army commanders, and so forth to discuss their problems or intentions and reach a decisiOn on a course of action. The plot may center around a beautiful princess coveted by rival princely suitors; the search for a magically potent object (a jewel, a weapon), the pos— session of which is often a precondition to winning a princess; the fate of the realm may he at stake with the need to discover the secret of an enemy’s invulner— ability; the recovery of a mysteriously vanished son or daughter may be involved. In subsequent scenes of the first period, preparations for action are made outside the palace—envoys are sent out, troops gather, allies appear, or wedding preparations are made. Later, some where en route, representatives of the opposing parties meet and engage in an inconclusive fight, perung gagal. During this first phase the music of the gamelan is of a special tonality called patet item,“ usually of the five-tone, sléndro scalef The tempo is moderate, quick- ening only during the fighting. Softly chiming cadences accompany speech. The alternation of the dalang’s chanting, narrative, and dialogue calls for constant changes in the music. Moreover, each of the principal - types of hero who set the mood of a scene has his own melody played at his appearance. At midnight, the eagerly awaited second phase com- mences. It is introduced by “ominous manifestations” in nature, gara-gara, from which this phase derives its * Shorter versions are now also given. ‘f The other, seven—tone, pélog scale is usad in a variety of other plays. THE wavANG WORLD [137] name. The gamelan switches to the patet songs tonality. The principal hero (for example, Ardjuna or one of his sons) comes up with his loyal panakawans (ser- vants-mentors—clowns) (see Pl. 115). Often the scene is laid in a dense wild wood and as a rule the hero is burdened and sorrowful as the critical stage of his ad- ventures nears. For quite a while his followers try to console and amuse him and thus delight the audience with their pranks, comical sOngs, and nonsensical quar- rels. They also offer the hero good advice. The turning point of the story is reached when a crucial battle, perrmg kemhang, develops in the woods between the hero and giants (raksasa) or monsters (hum). This battle is the dalang’s chance to display his virtuosity. AbOut three o’clock in the morning, the denouement Plate 110. Balinese wayang kulit pret of a princess. [138] LIVING TRADITIONS begins. The gamelan switches to the third tonal mode, pate: mnyum, and the higher-pitched music increases in tempo as the final resolution of the plot is nearing. The principal antagonist is slain in “the battle of the lakon,” petting lakon,” after which subsidiary battles, parang smnpak, are fOught to clinch the victory. In the. end, just as when after a storm the glittering constella- tions reappear in the Ermament, so the noble heroes reassemble in their full glory at their home palace, and then sunrise is at hand. The triumphal dance of a hero, Bima, for instance, may conclude this scene. Otherwise, after the kayon has been implanted, a lovely round puppet of a dance girl (golek) executes a joyous epilogue to the animated chimes .of the gamelan. Lakons are classed into lalwn pokoh (stem lakons),"L Iakon tjarangan (branch lakons) and lakes sempalan (detached lakons).“ As their names suggest, the first 'are basic stories, or rather plays, which follow closely the traditional versions of classical tales and their sepa- rate episodes, as described in such works as the Bharata Yuddha, Ardjuna WiWaha, or the Javanese version of the Ramyana. The second, derived from the lakon pokok, are highly embroidered elaborations of episodes constituting essontially a new story with newly in- vented adventures of some of the personages. The third are completely independent creations in which only the names of the well—known heroes, their salient char- acteristiCS, and familial relationships are borrowed from the original myths, but none of the situations, intrigues, or adventures resembles anything found either in the Javanese versions of the Indian epics or in the old Javanese legends. Some lakon tiarangan and sempalan may have been created to allude more specifically to circumstances surrounding the occasions for which a wayang performance has been commissioned. Wayang lakons are creations of generations of dalangs and many of them have been laid down in socalled paleem, man- uals for dalangs that contain a collection of lakons in— terspersed with detailed technical instructions concern- ing the music, the chants with old fixed texts, and so forth. Lakons have also inspired a whole wayang litera~ ture in the form of socalled wawatjan with wayang stories written in prose, but more often in poetry, some- times recited on festive occasions. _ The spellbinding art of a good dalang hinges largely on his recitation and chanting. The spoken narration " Also known as Iakon diedjef, Iaiton depot, Islam ladjer', or lakon Inga. Chanda or kotjap Eng pagedtmgan") is a flowery, poetic description of places and persons and situations. The chants, salaries, in Old Javanese verse often so trans— formed by oral tradition that the words become incom- prehensible, are captivating melodies which create a special mood, obliterating reality; the suluks are the magic carpets on which the audience can float fmm scene to scene. A dalang’s opening narration may run as follows: Sum}; rep data pitaaa: may silence reign. There was a country, a famous country, which will form the beginning of this tale. Even though there were many states on this earth, spanned by the sky and surrounded by the ocean, there was none like Mandraka. This king- dom serves as starting point of our story because among a hundred other countries there were not two, and among one thousand there were not ten, that could campare with it. Naturally, this kingdom was constantly talked about: it was a state of highest rank, at land backed by mountains, bordered on the left by irrigated rice fields, by rivers on the right, and it faced a great port. All that was planted was fruitful, all that could be purchased was cheap, and the countryside was peaceful; proof of this was the con- tinuous How of traders passing along the roads in safety by day and by night. Mandraka was populous, the houses of its inhabitants stood roof to roof—sign of the land’s pros' parity. The villagers tilled the soil, raised water buffalo, cows. ducks, and chickens, without penning them, without tying them up; during the day the animals scattered on the pas- ture and at night returned themselves, each to its own en— closure—because there were no thieves. The tranquillity of the country was ensured since it Was free from enemy attacks; the king's subjects never grumbled but, ever in concord, upheld the king’s commands. So Mandrake was respected by all other countries. Truly its power was great, its glory shining brilliantly, its radi- ance spreading everywhere, its fame reaching to distant regions. Not only kingdoms in Java, but also overseas caunnies bowed to it. At certain fixed times princesses sent as tribute arrived, and other goods were dispatched from foreign lands as signs of loyalty. Now it should be told that the name of Mandraka’s king was Prabu Narasoma; this name means that he was patient with his subjects. He was also called Salya, or “the wise”; Mandraripa, 'or “the famous"; Mandrakeswara, or “the well known”; Somadanta, "the righteous one” whose soul is like "' Kotiap ing pagedongtm means literally "spoken inside the house” and brings to mind the Kerala shadow-play house as a contrast to the unenclosod installation of the shadow-play per- former in Indonesia. The term may possibly imply a previously different arrangement. that of a priest. Therefore many countries submitted to him not as the result of conquest, but because they were dazzled by the power of the wise king, 3 king who constantly dis— nibuted aims, gave clothing to the naked, food to the hun— gry, who cemforted those in distress, provided a cane to those walking in slippery places; no one could find fault with the generosity of Mandraka’s king. It is impossible to describe in one night the full extent of His Majestfs ex- cellence and munificence; so may this suflice. On Thursday, His Majesty entered the audience hall, sat on the royal jewel—studded lion—throne set on perfumed carpets StICWl'l with all kinds of flowers and crowded with young girls and their attendants—His Majestst retinue hearing all the regalia made of solid gold. The peacock— feather fans on his right and his left wafted His Majesty’s fragrance in all directions until he seemed like the god Batara Sambu descended to earth accompanied by all the celestial nymphs. Not a voice was heard, no one moved; the wind was still; only the calls of the engkuk bird and die dialak bird perched on the roof of the audience hall were audible, and the alternate knocking of the court blacksmiths, gong—makers, and goldsmiths at work reached the audience hall, indistinctly, adding to the luster of the hushed world.“ The story goes on. The dalang recounts that the king’s daughter Herawati, betrothed to Kurupati, had mysteriously vanished without a trace. The heart- broken king had to suspend the wedding agreement until she was found. Would Kurupati be able to re- cover her? . . . And then, before the dialogue be- tween the personages asSembled on the screen begins, the dalang’s voices rises into a soaring chant, with archaic words in meters of the old kawi poetry, casting a spell upon what has been said and what is to come.* The dalang’s chants, sulults, provide the audience with the highest esthetic enjoyment, especially if a dalang has a good voice. They are ritual incantations raised to the level of a high art. They fill the whole atmosphere around the wayang play, enve10p it by a swell of sacred words and sounds that nothing can penetrate or dispel. They can create an emotionally warm or chilling atmosphere; project the “inner voices” of a hero; forebode the clouds of gathering disaster; convey the longings of a lovelorn heart or the lamenta- tions of sorrow and bereavement. Suluks intervene when a situation is pregnant with doubts and dangers. They are also chanted by the dalang at the appearance and disappearance of certain heroes and at transitions from one scene to another. " See Appendix III, pp. 293496, for a summary of this lalton. THE wavANo WORLD [139] Tjan Tjoe Siem observes that “tragedy is evaded on the Javanese stage by means of the suluks.”“’ This may not sound true to a Javanese spectator who sits with tear—filled eyes absorbed in the hardships of a noble hero. Even a Westerner who understands the dalang’s words and, above all, is familiar with the characters of the play and the wider context of the lakon can be deeply moved. So, a young friend of mine” wrote: “I remember seeing a beautiful example of this [sadness, firtan in Solo: gara-gara; Abimanyu [son of Ardjuna] in the woods in despair because of the failure of his search for a kris which Kresna had told him to find; very dark and quiet; the dalang then had him say quietly in a heartbroken sob, ‘Petruk . . . Petruk. . . .’—just that, summoning Petruk, but you felt hear- ing it that your heart would break.” There are even more truly tragic moments in sorne lakons, especially in episodes connected with the Bharata Yoddha, the “Great War of the Bharatas”: the same Abimanyu takes leave of his beloved Sitisundari before going off to the battle in which he is to die; Kunti’s meeting with her heretofore unacknowledged son, Kama, who will fight her other sons; the deaths of the Pandawas’ great and venerated teachers Bhisma and Durna, and many more. But on the stage, the fateful moments of a hero’s agony are not portrayed in full force, and in that sense, the suluks are the lightning rods of the dramatic structure. According to Tjan Tjoe Siem they are also spells that neutralize “a danger-laden atmosphere created when magically potent figures emerge from darkness onto the lighted screen and then retreat from light back into the darkness.”‘” Some sulukS, he says, especially those derived from verses of the Bharttta Yuddha, are so sekti (charged with magic power) that only a sekti- endowed person, who is like a priest or a deity, may recite them, and such a person is the dalang—for, wasn't Lord Icwara himself the first dalang?"'*9 It is difficult indeed to separate in wayang the magical and esthetic elements that permeate the play and all its component parts. I vividly remember my per- turbation when the director of a university museum decided to exhibit some wayang puppets purely as oh— jets d’ort in total disregard for their symbolic meaning or their status in the polar hierarchies. It was impos- sible! fl noble hero's profile could not in a certain com.— bination be shown on the left; a deity, though small, could not appear on a level lower than a prince. I "' See Appendix II, p. 287. [140] LIVING TRADITIONS could imagine the dismay of an Indonesian visitor to this exhibitiOn. A group of wayang puppets obviously is meaningful and beautiful only if in their order they reflect the laws of the wayang universe. Arbitiariness spells disruption; and such disruption causes uneasiness in the beholder; and uneasiness precludes enjoyment. The viewer responds acutely to the totality of form and meaning. The totality dictates the grouping no less than the individual wayang’s elaborate iconography. iconography and Ethos of the Wayang World The immutable laws of the wayang world are ele- mentary and universal. Even as the atom’s colossal dynamics is hidden in the positive and negative charges of its particles, so the wayang’s cosmic order is unthink— able without a constant interaction of positive and negatiVe polarities. It is a stable world based on con- flict. And just as a painter cannot create an effect of light without some dark masses and vice versa, so also darkness and light are felt as inextricably complemen- tary in wayang. God Shiva embodies both creation and destruction. In religious and ethical systems high virtue is recognized only when seen against human basemss, saintliness against sin. And so the “right” (tengen), or positive, and the “left” (kiwo), or negative, realms, into which the shadow screen or classical stage is di- vided by an invisibile vertical line down the center, are the electrodes that spark the wayang world into life. But the polarization is not total. For, on both sides there are characters who possess qualities which typify their antagonism. Such characters lend poignancy to any total conflict, add subtle shades of grays to a black- ancl—white situation; just as in any total war, "the enemy” is known to include innocent and even noble individuals who by Force of circumstances must remain loyal to their nation no matter what its leadership. Both the beings who belong to the realm of the right and those of the realm of the left (P15. 111, 112) are ranked hierarchically and within each hierarchy are differentiated: (a) by their function (for example, princes, sages, army commanders); and (b) typical tem- peramental characteristics. The iconography of the wayang puppets externalizes functional role, hierarchi- cal status, and temperament, and, sometimes, also a hero’s age, state, or mood. A group apart are the clowns to whom we shall return later. A full set of wayangs may include as many as three or even four hundred puppets. The smallest is about Plate 11]. Heroes of the "left," the Korean: and an ally. From right: Dame, priestly teacher and councilor; Kumpati (Duryodamz in youth), eldest of the Komwa; Kama, Ardjumi’s half-brother; Damascus, a very aggressive Korawa. 9 inches high, the tallest sometimes close to 40. Apart from the kayon, the largest figures are those of giants (of which Kumbakarna of the Ramayana is the big- gest) and monstrous demons; the smallest are of some high deities and of women. Size is not a sign of great- ness but rather of great physical power (Bima) or of monstrosity, violence, and uncontrolled passion as op- posed to self-mastery (Pl. 113), hence spiritual power and refinement.513 The majority of larger figures belong to the left, with the right party having relatively more of the smaller figures. But notable exceptions occur on both sides. While size might indicate whether a figure is to be attributed to the positive or negative category, it alone is not decisive. In wayang iconography as in graphol— ogy, no one trait can be interpreted in isolation; each feature must be related to other significant idiosyncra- cies in order to arrive at a meaningful characterization. There are in wayang a number of typical syndromes whose principal elements are stature, posture, shape of eye, shape of nose, shape of torso. Taken together, these physical traits and attitudes indicate a hero’s basic constitution. Functional role and status are in— dicated by the costume, ornaments, and attributes. Since in the dynamics of the wayang world the heroes’ THE WAYANG wonLD [141] inner qualities are paramount, We shall discuss the physical features and their meaning first. The face is of primary significance among them. Especially the shape of the eye and the nose. There are at least thirteen different shapes for eyes and as many for noses. There are three basic types of heroes, who have the following combinations of traits:51 (l) The “finest,” or noblest, characters have an elongated nar- row eye, as if half-closed Ciijepan)," and a long, pointed (iintjip) nose. A small and slender (andap slit) body complements this configuration (see Pl. 103). (2) A range of intermediary types has a “soy- beamshapecl” eye (kedeién), rounde/r but still oblong, combined with a “well-proportioned” (sembeda) long nose with a slightly turned up tip. Their bodies are medium sized (pideltsa) (see Pl. 114). (3) The crude, physically powerful, or violent beings have “round- pupiled” (teiengan), wide open, circular eyes; the up- turned nose is bulbous (dempok) and the body heavy and tall (agrmg inggil) (see Pl. 113). Both eyes and noses have still other intricate varia- tions for old sages, the clowns, or different demonic " Other perhaps more common designations for this type of eye are dfaitan ("stitched together”) and gabahmx (“rice—grain shaped”). Plate 1 12.. Heroes of the “right,” the five Punch:er brothers. From left: Puntadewe (Yudistim), Bima, Ardjtma, Neimle, and Sadewe. [142] LIVING TRADITIONS creatures. There is also a range of at least a dozen shapes for mouths and snouts to lend variety in ex- pression. Another variable for the three basic types listed above is the posture of the head, also signifying a tempera- mental attitude. The bowed (mmungkal) head de- notes that the hero is patient (saber), dedicated Cmungkui), and unperturbable (swam—three of the highest virtues. The extreme opposite—impatience, ag- gressiveness, excitability—is denoted by an upturned (Iangalt) face. The intermediate, straight (longok) position of the profile stands for more neutral traits with a variety of shades. Often very young heroes are depicted with faces leaning forward as if their pointed noses were sniffing the wind; deities as well as demons can have straight forward—looking faces. The combina- tion of a puppet’s eye shape with one of the three head postures determines the tone and pitch of the dalang’s voice when he speaks for it; he thus has for the basic types alone nine tonal variations. Another set of variables is that of the puppets’ facial colors.52 Basically they are black, white, gold, and red. Shades of rose and purple are considered varieties of red. Blue is perhaps a variation on black; brovm and gray are also used, mainly for animals and some men- sters (butas). There are conjectures that the four basic facial colors are associated with the cardinal points (black for North, red for South, gold [yellow] for West, and white for East) and that this is the oldest, cosmological reason for their use. It is difficult, how- ever, to discern any consistent correlation between the various heroes and their facial colors and the symbolism of the cardinal directions. Perhaps in some distant past these associations were valid, but the symbolism seems to have been lost just as the symbolic meaning of In- dian hand postures (madra) is now blurred in the classical Javanese dance. Although the use of colors may be becoming more arbitrary, there is still consider- able consensus about their meaning. Blaclt is supposed to indicate inner maturity, adulthood, virtue, including Plate 113. Ardjuna (right) meets a giant (raksasa). Wayang lrulit, Java. Plate 1 14. The royal. brothers, black-faced Kresna (right) and rose-faced Balaclava (left). Wayang kulit, Java. calmness. Red, on the other hand, denotes uncontrolled passions, desires. Gold has a double function: it may denote beauty (of the hero), royal or princely status, glory, but may also reflect the desire of the maker or ovmer of the puppet to make the wayang itself as beautiful as possible. White is said to indicate noble dessent, youth and beauty, too, but its use is ambigu- 0115. Some say that beings with blue faees are cowardly. Relatively few wayangs have white faces; the prevalent facial colors are black, red, and gold. In the course of one play the same character may appear at one time with a golden face and at another with a black face to indicate different aspects of the hero or stages in his life. From this brief review of leading variables it be- comes clear that whereas in some combinations the significant iconographic features are mutually comple~ mentary and reinforcing, they modify one another in other configurations. Thus Ardjuna (Pl. 103) is al~ ways depicted with the narrowest type of eye, a long, dowuward-tending pointed nose, as his head is usually bowed; his face, depending on his age or mood, is either white, gold, or black. Reinforcing his subdued attitude is the stance of his closely adjoining legs. His tempestuous brother Bima (Pl. 116), however, who is an outstanding member of the “right,” has a towering stature, an aggressive wide stance; his eye is round and his upturned nase semibulbous; be also has a curly beard—sign of his virility? Bima is impetuous like the demons, a true son of the wind god. But he is thin- waisted and his face is black. And his checkered loin- cloth (a sacred pattern) signifies his magic potency as does his phallic thumb with its long nail. 0n the other hand the Pandawas’ divine mentor Kresna and his elder brother Baladewa (Pl. 114) are clearly differen- tiated by stature and facial color as members of the right and left respectively. Kresna’s face is always black, his eye narrow, nose pointed, but his head is straight. Baladewa, an ally of the Korawas, is taller, has a “soy- bean—shaped" eye, a “medium” nose; his face is red or rose. Thus the red or r0se facial color, like large size, immediately suggests some quality separating the char- acter from the party at the right. By “reading” these and other iconographic clues one is helped to identify a hero’s inner constitution. To determine the hero’s functional role and status, m [144] Lrvmo TRADITIONS the most helpful clue in his costume is the headdress. Headdresses range from a simple tuft of hair (for clowns) to gorgeous tiaras (for some high kings, queens, and certain deities). Between these two ex~ tremes there are more than two dozen varieties of stylized coiEures and headgear, enlivened by wing- shaped ear ornaments, which are among the most grace- ful and elegant creations of generations of wayang de- signers. A priest can be recognized by his conchlike turban; a princely regent by his helmetlike crown; members of the Pandawa clan, by their coiffures rising scrollshaped at the back. I Some puppets are bare from the waist up. Some are fully clad, especially gods, seers, and older women. Physically vigorous types have curly short beards under the chin or on the throat; monsters are hairy with heavy bristling eyebrows and hair in the nostrils. The highly stylized garments of the lower body con- sist of a rich variety of patterned loincloths and dodots —large rectangular ceremonial cloths draped around the hips, formerly the court dress for princes and high officials. The cloths are short for young men, long for women; they have bustles for royalty; they are tucked up to do battle. Long trousers and short pants are in evidence too, topped by either a hipcloth or by a long jacket. Deities and sage-priests are depicted wearing long coats and shoes with upturned toes. All garments and adornments have a variety of designs, but these are fortunately not always iconographically significant. Ornaments include rings (on the hand, which may have nine different finger positions); bracelets, arm- lets, anklets, necklaces with decorative pendant plaques. Special attributes are caste cords and pubic shields. They are the same adornments found on the statues of deified kings enshrined in the old Javanese tjandi. The presence or absence of certain attributes is some- times relevant. The wing-shaped probe ("glowf "radi- ance”), equivalent to the halo of glory, is reserved for some kings. In the case of the flying hero Gatutkatja, who is likened to lightning, the praba probably also I represents wings (Pl. 107). It is difficult to determine, however, why certain princes have prabas and others not. It is also nor clear whether the presence or absence of the Gamda mungltm ("Gaiuda looking back”) pro- tective charm at the back of some heroes’ head has a special significance. Originally these attributes may have been systematically given only to those figures thought to possess special divine endowments or grace. Today they merely help to identify heroes already Q s known to possess them. The most precisely identifiable wayangs are those of the Mahabharata and Ramayana lakons. For derivative or freely composed plays, in which many characters appear under new names, stand— ard puppets are selected to fit the type. The great majofity of wayangs are executed in the decorativer elaborate and iconographically intricate “wayang style” which lends their appearance a certain unity, but there is one notable exception: the sil- houettes and treatment of the figures of the "clowns." Their fantastically grotesque flat shapes are outlined in strong and simple manner; there is no lacy openwork in the scanty garments, not a single ornament on the tufted bare heads. The short-legged, fat, hermaphro- ditic old Semar is flat-nosed, with a hypertrophic jaw, a wise, tired eye, an enormous rear part, a bulging paunch, and heavy, almost feminine breasts. His sons are the tall, long-nosed Petrulc and the little, limping and frightened Gareng. (His third son, Bagong, who used to appear but rarely, now is reportedly becoming very popular.) Semar is a mysterious figure with a visi- ble sign of sacredness, his checkered hipcloth. This is how a dalang introduces Semar and his two sons (Pl. 115): Why is he called Semar? . . . Semar is derived from the word samar (dim, obscure, mysterious). Indeed, Kyai Lurah" Semar may well be called mysterious. Designate him as a man, his face looks like a woman’s; say that he is a woman, his appearance is that of a man. How does Kyai Lurah Semar look? He has a turned-up nose, but it is lov- able; watering eyes but lovable; puffed cheeks, also lovable; he is potbellied, but lovable; in short, everything about him is lovable. Kyai Lurah Semar is indeed a mysterious person- age, for in reality he is not a human creature, but a deity of the Suralaya, named Sang Hyang lsmaya. Kyai Lurah has two sons: the elder’s name is Kyai Lurah Nala-Gareng, the younger one’s Kyai Petruk. Why is he called Nala— Gareng? Nola is hard, garertg is dry; Nala—Gareng has a dry heart, he is always sad. How does he look? His eyes are squinting; his lips don’t close well; his arms are crooked (having been broken); he limps and walks like a cripple since his feet are full of yaws. And Kyai Lurah Petruk? His body is long; his nose is long; his eyes are long; his lips are long; his neck is long; his legs are long; his steps are long; and long are his hands. What is his nature? He is mischievous . . . ; if he steals, he is praised for it; if he deals out blows, he is rewarded for it.53 Semar is not only loved, but revered and regarded " Honorific: the Venerable Chief or Head. by some as the most sacred figure of the whole kotalt, or wayang set. He appears on the screen precisely at midnight, preceded by the gara—gara, “omnious mani- festation,” when danger is greatest, the distress of his master deepest, and when help is esseIltial. Some writ- ers on the wayang conjectured that Semar and his sons are old indigenous IndOnesian deities who have been demoted to the status of servants with the ascendancy of the Hindu gods and the semidivine lrsatriya heroes of the epics.54 Another interpretation is that the pana- kavvans are “the people”55 not otherwise represented in the palace hierarchies. They are the voice oF the simple village folk, with all their strength, misery, and wis- dom. Without them a princely master is unthinkable; without their support, advice, and succor, he may be lost. Semar, who is never in the wrong, is particularly powerful. Of all the wayang heroes he alone dares, in some lakons, to remonstrate with the gods, even with Batara Guru (Shiva) himself and the feared Batari Durga; he demands from them some decision or inter— cession in no uncertain terms, and may even force them to act or desist. Whether deity or deified symbol of the people, Semar cOmbine's his role of servant—mentor with that of a mediator between his masters and the gods. Some demonic heroes have two grotesque servant- clowns of their own, Togog and Sarahita (or Sarawita), who is supposed to be Semar’s brother. They are not the bravest of creatures. 77* THE WAYANG wonLD [145] Wayang typology has exercised a powerful influence on the daily attitudes of the Javanese. Almost auto matically people incline to look upon a heavyrset man with round eyes, a heavy nose, and a loud voice as in- ferior; a slender, not very tall person with elongated eyes and subdued manner a priori may be superiOr. But just as in'the wayang itself, there are always exceptions. So, for instance, the late P. V. van Stein Callenfels, the noted archaeologist and the oversize enfant ter— rible of the Netherlands Indies administration, had won the hearts of many Indonesians. A bearded, corpulent giant, whose heavy bulk enscOnced on a palanquin had to be transported sometimes to an archaeological site by a dozen or more carriers, he was likened to Kumbakarna, the noble giant of the Ramayana. (When news of Stein Callenfels' death, which oc- curred in Ceylon, spread in Java, it seemed to many quite appropriate that he should have met his end where he belonged—in Rawana’s kingdom, Langka). Ideal conduct in the wayang world corresponds to the highly stylized etiquette of Javanese courts which permeated Javanese society before the revolutiOn and still persists in the older generatiOn. To past genera- ti0ns, wayang, apart From serving as a character chart by which to judge other people, provided one with a choice of ideal types to be emulated. Just as Sita be- came the ideal of a devoted wife for the women in India, so many a young Javanese used to aspire to Plate 115. The panakawan, noble hero’s servants. From right: Samar, Gareng, and Permit. Wayang ltulit, Java. [146] LIVING TRADITIONS achieve a steadfastness like Ardjuna’s, or the swift courage of Gatutkatja. When American “westerns” reached the open—air movie screen in Java, Tom Mix soon attained immense popularity perhaps because he was a hero, swift on his flying horse, impetuous, gallant and brave, likeBima’s son. If the wayang has educational value for the young as has always been claimed by their wayang-loving elders, what kind of virtues does it stress? The virtues are em~ bodied in the Pandawa brothers and their allies. Ideally, purity, righteousness, and compassion (Yudi- stira) are the highest virtues; but self-mastery and dedicationto duty (Ardjuna) are the aim of most as- pirations. The other prized qualities are strength and courage directed toward positive aims (Bima and his son Gatutkatja), loyalty (the twins Nakula and Sa— dewa), wisdom paired with transcendental knowledge, clairvoyanoe, and magic powers (Kresna, ascetic- sages). Obviously for children—who always constitute a considerable portion of the audience—wayang plays are fascinating adventure stories spiced by the jokes of the beloved panakawans. As they grow up, the reper— tory becomes a sort of family history and they follow with particular interest the behavior of their favorite heroes in new circumstances created by the dalang. It is almost like observing the conduct of friends, neigh- bors, and relatives in critical situations. To adult spectators, depending on their degree of sOphistication and their religious orientation (often in- fluenced from childhood on by the wayang), shadow plays have a variety of meanings. Like all myths the lakons are susceptible to interpretation on different levels.“ Below the rippling and shimmering surface of the tale, meanings of cosmic as well as human import seem to be hidden; the nature of the world order and the laws governing all creation are thought to be mir- rored in the wayang. Among the themes of which wayang lakons are re- garded as symbolic are the eternal contraposition of light and darkness and nature’s cycles of generation, decline, and renewal. Another view is that a lakon’s hidden meaning is a portrayal of man’s develoPment, frOm childhood to maturity. His stamina is first tested when he engages in youth in the inconclusive battles of the first phase; he attains adult status when in the confusing wilderness, his own heart, he conquers the demons or monsters, his passions. With the passions mastered, he can attain the victories necessary to his own and his community’s welfare. (The hero’s progress is beset by temptations and tests suggestive of initia- tion rites.) . MyStically inclined Javanese discern in wayang plays mystic teachings, including encoaragement of the spiri- tual exercise known as semedi. “One can learn about the way of semadi from what the dalang recites about it," wrote the late Mangkunagara VII of Surakarta, quoting the dalang: Now is described the fierce battle between the middle One of the Pandawas, Baden Ardjuna, and his adversary. . . . Despair is in his heart, for, again and again, he is at the point of suffering defeat. Suddenly he halts the con- test; he seats himself for the semadi and turns to the purifi- catiOn of his heart and mind. He folds his arms, one over the other, and stretches his legs straight forward, clasely joined. He suspends the functions of the nine openings of the body. Seunds do not penetrate to him; forms are not distinguished by his eyes; his attention is fixed only upon the inhaling and exhaling of his breath while his gaze is kept upon the point of his nose. He concentrates his thoughts. The Lord of the World hears his prayer and simultaneously there appears before him the arrow Pasopati like a blue radiation (dam) from heaven?“ A semadi practitioner aspires to a state in which he can experience divine revelation, or, in other terms, apprehend his own inspired insight. In relation to wayang lakons, the Mangkunagara distinguishes three kinds of semadi, or rather three of its aims: the first is to grasp the meaning of life, to comprehend its origin and purpose (in wayang lakons this theme appears as the hero’s search for his father whom he does not know); the second is to actuate higher powers within oneself, to overcome frustration and obtain mastery over the order of things (Ardjuna’s ascesis is an exam- ple of semadi undertaken for such a purpose); the third, less frequently reflected in a lakon, is semadj undertaken to secure "higher powers” for black magic (as when a hero wishes to bewitch a princess he cavets, or his rival)":53 There are special lakons which more than others probe into the spheres where mystics like to dwell. One of them is the lakon "Bima Sutji” (“Bima Purified”), in which the hero seeks the “water of life.” Bima’s quest is interpreted as a desire for initiation into “True "‘ The Prince does not mention a possible fourth purpose, to attain ultimate enlightenment and salvation, or deliverance in the Buddhist sense. Apparently, in wayang plays, this com- pletely mystical goal recedes before the magico-mystical aims of semadi. Knowledge” and its motivatiori as a longing for self- identification, for “Oneness” or wholeness. He rejects his relatives’ warnings about the danger of his under- taking; indeed, he seems to feel that even death is pref— erable to uncertaintyfiEl First, searching for the water of life, he rips asunder the mountain Tjandramuka and is suddenly corrfronted by two giants whom he fights and defeats. They then assume their true shape; before him stand the gods Hendra (Indra) and Bayu (Wayu). (Bayu, We must remember, is Bima’s father.) They in- form him that the water of life cannot be found in the mountain and advise him again to consult his guru, Durna. This time Duma tells Bima that the water of life is in the vast depths of the ocean. Again Bima’s brothers and friends try to restrain him, but he rushes off with steps that are “seven times as far as the gaze of an elephant reaches” and arrives at the ocean’s shore. Knee-deep in the water, he is seized by a serpent but, with his long thumbnail (let/that pantjonaka), he pierces the monster entwining him and then plunges into the unfathomable depth. On the bottom of the ocean he encounters a diminutive being, Dewa Rutji, who in ap- pearance is a tiny replica of Bima himself (Pl. 116). Upon the little deity’s invitation, Bima, perplexed but willing, enters into Dewa Rutji through his ear and thus, mystically interpreted, fuses with his own newly THE WAYANG wonLn [147] discovered “spiritual self.” Bima’s thumbnail here sym- bolizes his will power and the serpent, his breath which he dares to cut off. (The successful semadi practi- tioner’s breath is said to fail him just before the moment ' of revelation when, in the words of Javanese mystics, he enters "the world filled with light and no shad- ows.”)6° Moreover, to a mystitc, the Mangltunagara wrote, the wayang performance itself suggests the practice of semadi. So, the gamelan music accompanying Bima’s vertiginous journey provides sensations akin to those experienced by a semadi practitiouer just before and after his “spiritual self” emerges; the dalang’s knocks of the mallet against the wooden wayang chest are like his accelerated heartbeats when that moment nears; and the ayak—ayolmn manyum, pulsating melodies played during Bima’s emergence from the ocean and his return to his brothers, are said to render completely “that indescribable feeling of returning from the semadi state to full rational consciortsness.”"1 Some dalangs may be mystics themselves and may either overtly or covertly encourage the appreciation and practiCe of semadi. Regard for it has persisted in Asia ever since the first Indian yogi discovered the secrets of controlled breathing and absorption in medi— tation. The fruits of semadi, immortalized in the Plate 116. Bima (left) meets Dewa Rutji. Wayang ltulit, Java. [ 148] LIVING TRADITIONS eleventh-century Javanese poem Ardjune Wiwaha, are still sought today by some Indonesian leaders—directly, or indirectly through mystical gurus—to enhance their insights or their influence and temporal power. To many young Javanese and to some intellectuals of the older, IevOlutiOnary generation, the wayang world is a soporilic anachronism. Nor is wayang fave ored by Javanese who are deVOut Moslems, but their reservations are influenced by religious rather than in- tellectual considerations. Yet its attraction is powerful. To turn their backs on it completely is for some truly a tour de force. A telling example of ambivalence is the confession of a young writer that he was afraid of wayang as well as of gamelan music. Seeking an In- donesian “national identityW as well as individual self-realization in the modern world, the new genera— tion turns to the creative spirits of their own time—not the dalangS, but the new poets and writers whose world is shot through with social and personal conflicts, with revolt against deep-rooted traditions. In wayang lakons a hero rarely has inner conflicts. The one outstanding exception, deriving from India’s sacred literature but muted in the shadow play, is Ardjuna’s moral dilemma, which is so beautifully ex- pressed in the B hagevad Gite, The Song of the Lord.62 On the eve of the great battle with his cousins, he turns in distress to his divine mentor, Krishna (Kresna): he does not want to light and to kill, feeling that his own death is preferable to slaying his kin. But the pain and doubts of this great conscientious objector of Indian mythology are overridden by Krishna’s exposition of the mystique of caste duty (to a ksatriya, “there is nothing nobler than a righteous warm”), and by the divine teacher’s metaphysical doctrine. All worldly experience is illusory; the universal Self is eternal, imperishable, Only the body in which it dwells parishes. But when a warrior slays, he must do so with detachment, without hate. But he whose mind dwells Beyond attachment, Untainted by ego, No act shall bind him With any bond: Though he slays these thousands He is no slayer.“ 0n those rare occasions when the ‘War of the ”' See Part III, p. 215. Bharatas" is actually brought upon the shadow screen, the dalang may chant briefly about Ardjuna’s hesita- tions, but there is no evidence that this humanistic trait of the hero’s character is widely associated with his image in the mind of the wayang—conscious public —his adherence to the ksatriya’s duty and his irresisti- bility in love overshadow all. The external battles that rage on the wayang screen are inevitable within the established world order in which everyone has his allotted place, role, and fate. Virtually all lakons end in the victory of the “right” party. It is a rare play in- deed that culminates in the destruction of its heroes and, when this happens, retribution is close at hand. If a wayang play is never a tragedy in the Western sense, neither is it ever truly a comedy. Farce, satire, comical confusions of identity are practically never the essence of a plot, though humor is not lacking.”' It is mainly the panakawans in their interludes who amus- ineg bring the audience down to earth with their folk- ish ways, jests, and pranks. Few of the other characters have a sense of humor. Demons can roar with malicious laughter; some monsters are very funny even if they don’t mean to be; but the principal figures have little gaiety. Wayang plays, like good stories, to paraphrase Isak Dinesen, are neither tragic not comic, but “mar- velous.” The heroes of the wayang world act and move like the planets with their satellites, inexorably following their predestined course, each according to his nature, his fate, his karma. Their cosmic space is that of myth. They are part of the divine world order—"A static eternity of estates and castes” with “minute and de— tailed laws of conduct . . . a gigantic as well as a mi- nute order,” in which men are given “ceremonial iden- tities set apart by extravagantly dichrentiated roles and costumes.” These phrases were used by Erik H. Erik- son65 to characterize the stylized conception of the world order in the life of medieval Europe, but they are also singularly apt for characterizing the wayang world. But whereas man in medieval Europe was bur— dened by a consciousness of sin and the constant in— junction to repent and reform, to sin in the wayang world is mainly to kill a member of one’s own family or a holy person. When it is dOne, it is more often than ‘ Reportedly in recent years (1963—1965) there has been a trend toward an increasing share of farce and satire in both wayang kulit and wayang wong—a sign of the times? not by accident. Though the slayer is seized by grief and remorse, he also knows that retribution is inevita- ble. So when Gatutkatja in a fit of temper strikes his uncle Kalabendara and the latter dies, Gatutkatja, overcome by sorrow and self—reproach, tries to embrace the corpse. But the. corpse vanishes with a warning that Gatutkatja’s "debt" will be settled in the Great War, the Bratayudda. On the battlefield, Gatutkatja, fully aware that his death is imminent, volunteers to fight his half-uncle Kama allied with the enemy. Karna’s arrow comes short of hitting the flying hero but the dead uncle’s spirit catches the deadly missile and pro- pels it to its mark. Retribution by fate is full accepted; the divine balance sheet is ever squared. There is noth- ing man himself can do except submit to providence. In wayang lakons no crushing conscience ever contin- ues to torture a hero and he can reform no more than a stream inundating a village or a volcano spewing fire and ashes. The overriding morality is the duty of the ksatriya—the code of knights—and laws of behavior appropriate to each estate. No doubt in many lakons the dalang makes his heroes qhite human. Ardjuna may have an outburst of temper and later make amends; an ascetic sage may be sarcastic; intrepid Gatutkatja is struck with shyness at the sight of beautiful Pregiwa, his cousin"; King Kresna indulges in wit. These charming embroideries do not, however, obscure the patterns of destiny. Deci- "‘ See Appendix III, p. 306. * THE wavano won}: [149] sive in this destiny is the quest for and possession of magically potent resources—be it knowledge of a‘ magic formula, the boon of invisibility or invincibility, the gift of a miraculous weapon, or the accumulation through spiritual exercise of supernatural powers. The enchanting but often elusive princess around whom so many lakon plots revolve is herself like a coveted charm. Disguises, transformations, and resurrections abound in wayang plays: a young ascetic may turn out to be a princess; tigers or giants are transformed gods; the death of a hero is not necessarily final. Everything is fairy tale, symbolism, or mysticism. Just as in dreams, there is no room for rationality. And so, today as in centuries past, the shadows of heroes, whose fate is known to deities and gears, come to life in wayang dress on the white screen. The shad- ows’ faith is acceptance of the immutable order of things; the shadows’ will strives to enhance their power, to gain possession of the desired mate, to defend their domain, to make their universe secure. These primor- dial, almost innate, drives are transcended when they seek to probe into the secrets of their origin and desti- nation, to realize the essence of their own being. And, as in nature, darkneSs is always dispelled by sparkling light, and morning, literally, always dawns—till sunset is at hand again. The tensions will persist forever, the f0rtunes of the heroes swing back and forth, and the quest, beset by storms like nature’s cycles, continues in the timelessness of myth. Notes 1. “Anoman Trigangga,” in Koentjaraningrat, ed., Tori den Kesttsaterm di Indonesia [Dance and Literature in Indo- nesia] Uogjakarta, 1959), p. 35. Extract translated from In- donesian by the author. 2.. I. Kass, Het Jevmscbe Tooneel (Weltevreden, 1923), pp. 85, 87-98, 159. 3. See Harsono Hadisoeseno, ‘Wayang and Education," Education and Culture (Djakarta), No. 8 (October, 1955), 9; cf. 1. Kats, “Wayang Madya,” Dfmva (Bijlage, Mangkoe Nagoro number, September, 1924), 42-44. 4. Harsono Hadisoeseno, pp. 3—5. 5. See H. H. Iuynboll, 'Wajang Kelitik oder Kerutjil,” lntemationales Archiv ft'ir Ethnograpbie, XIII (1900), 4—17, 97—119 and 1:15.; Ami: Sutaarga, “De Wajang Golek in West- Java,” Indonesie‘, VIII (1955), 441—456. 6. L. Sermrier, De Wajang Poerwd (Leiden, 1896), p. 141-, Sutaarga, “De Wajang Golek," pp. 444-445. 7. W. P. Greeneveldt, Historical Notes on Indonesia and Malaya; Cmpiled from Chinese Sources (Djakarta, 1960), p. 53, reprint of article in VBG, XXXIX (1880). 8. 'R. Pischel, “Das altindische Shattenspie ," Sitztmgs- berichte cler Komiglich Preussisclren Akademie tier Wissen- sclmften (Berlin), XXIII (1906), p. 483. The passage has been translated into English by the author. 9. Hull, p. 4-87. Translated by the author. 10. Ibid., pp. 494-498; also Georg Jacob, Hans Jensen, and Hans Losch, "Das Indische Schattentheater," no. 2. in Georg Jacob and Paul Kahle, ed., Dos Orientalisehe Sebattentbeater (Stuttgart, 1931), pp. 31—145. Jacob includes a translation of the Dutcngada. ll. Beryl de Zoete, "Hm Other Mind (London, 1953), pp. 90-98. 12. Stan Harding, "The Ramayana Shadow-Play in India,” Asia, XXXV, No. 4 (April, 1935), 234435. 13. lbidu p. 234. 14. Paul Kahle. “Der Leuchtturm van Alexandria,” no. 1 [ 150] LIVING TRADITIONS in Jacob and Kahle, eds., Dos Orientalische Schattentheater, p. 11. 15. Denis Bordat and Francis Boucrot, Les Thésitres d’Ombres; Histoire et Techniques (Paris, 1956), pp. 27—51. 16. Wilhelm Hoenerbach, Dos Nordafrikanische Schatr tentheater (Maine, 1959), p. 3. 17. H. H. Prince Dhaninivat, The Nang (Bangkok, 1956), p. 6. 18. 1hicl., p. 5—6. 19. See Jeanne Cuisinier, Le Theatre d'Omhres ti Kelanton (Paris, 1957). 20. Georg Jacob and Hans Jensen, “Das Chinesische Schat- tentheater,” no. 3 in Jacob and Kahle, eds., Dos Orientalische Schatteutheater, pp. 2-4. 21. lhid., pp. 2-3. Translated by the author. 22. Ihicl., pp. 3—4. 23. livid, p. 4. 24. CI. G. Coedés, Les Brats Hindouisés d‘lndochine et d’lndonésie (Paris, 1964), pp. 26—27, r. 8. 25. N. J. Krom, Hindoe-Javaansche Geschiedenis (The Hague, 1926), p. 47. 26. W. H. Rassers, "On the Origin of the Javanese Thea- tre,” in Penji, the Culture Hero (The Hague, 1959), pp. 95~ 215. 27. G. A. J. Hazeu, Bijzirage tot rle hennis van het Java— amsche tooneel (Leiden, 1897), p. 3. 28. Kats, H et Janoansche Tooneel, p. 41. 29. H. H. Mangkunagara VII of Surakarta, On the Weyang Kulit (Puma) and Its Symbolic and Mystical Elements, trans. by Claire Holt (Ithaca, N.Y., 1957), pp. 4—5. 30. Ki Reditanaja, Kmiiogo, trans. from Javanese into Indonesian by R. Hardjowirogo (Djaltarta, 1951), pp. 3—4; of. Kats, Het Javaansche Tooneel, pp. 33—34, for what a dalang must know and do, and not do. 31. Jeannine Auboyer, "Le Theatre Ciessique de l’Inde,” in Jean Jacquot, ed., Les Theatres d’Asie (Paris, 1961), p. 16. Translated by the author. 32. Alf-red B. and Judith M. Hudson, “Telang: A Ma’anjan Village of Central Kalimantan,” in Koenrjaraningrat, ed., Villages in Indonesia (Ithaca, N.Y., 1966), pp. 90—114. 33. Hazeu, Bijclmge tot de Kennis vim hes Javaansche Tooneel, p. 23. 34. B. A. Kern, "De Beteekenis van het Woord Dalang,” in BKI, XCIX (1940), 123—124. 35. Kats, Het Jwaensehe Tooneel, lists the instruments for a small and for a large gamelan accompanying wayang ku'lit and provides illustrations. See also J. Kunst, Music in Java,- its History, its Theory and its Technique (The Hague, 1949); and Colin MCPhee, "The Balinese Wayang Kulit and In; Music,” Diawa, XVI (1936), 1—50. 36. See B. I... Mellema, Wayimg Puppets,- Carving, Colour- ing 3nd Symbolism, trans. by Mantle Hood (Amsterdam, 1954 . 37. For additional illustrations and discussion of the kayon see: Kats, Het Jovmsche Tooneel, pp. 23-24; A. N. Th. a T1]. van der Hoop, Indonesian Ornamental Design (Ban- dung, 1949), pp. 274—281; F. D. K. Bosch, The Golden Germ (The Hague, 1960), pp. 178—186, 227—228, 244—249, and pls. 66—69, bibliography. 38. Bosch, The Golden Germ, pp. 152—153, 179. 39. Cf. McPhee, “The Balinese Wajang Koelit and Its Music,” pp. 1—50; Miguel Covarrubias, Island of Bali (New York, 1950), pp. 236-244. 40. Willem Stutterbeim, Ram Legenden and Home Re— liefs in Indonesian (Munich, 1925), I, 200—201. The quoted passages are translated by the author. 41. A good example of a complete lalton is given in Tjan Tjoe Siem, Hoe Koeroepati zich ziju Vrouw verwerft [How Koeroepati acquires his wife} (Leiden, 1938). 42. See Mantle Hood, The Nuclear Theme as a Determi- nant. of Patet in Javanese Music (Groningen and Diakarta, 1954), pp. 126—129, for a discussion of petals in Javanese wayang ltulit. 43. Ki Reditanaja, Kartawiioge, p. 6. 44. CE. Kats, H e: Javannsehe Tooneel, pp. 85-36. 45. Extract, translated from Indonesian by the author, is based on Ki Reditanaja, Kortcwijoga, pp. 7—8. A different ver- sion is given in Tjan Tjoe Siem, Hoe Koeroepoti ziin Vrouw uerwerft, pp. 3—6. 46. Tjan Tjoe Siem, Hoe Koeroepati, p. 248. 47. Benedict R. CC. Anderson, in a personal communica- tion. 48. Tjan Tjoe Siem, p. 248. 49. nae, p.249. 50. CE. the giant demons and small gods in the Jain mytho— logical system described in Josaph Campbell, The Masks of God: Oriental ll/ljrtl'iolog}r (New York, 1962), pp. 228—231. 51. R. M. Sulardi, Printjening Gambia- Wayang Puma [Specifications of Wayang Purvva Figures] (Djaltarta, 1953). 52. CE. Kass, Het Javaonsche Tooneel, pp. 8-21, analytical tables of principal iconographic features of 37 wayang purwa puppets; Mellema, Waytmg Puppets, pp. 61—63, lists the facial colors of 155 puppets, some duplicates, of 94 characters. 53. Budihardia, “Grepen uit de Wajang,” Djawa, II (1922), 22-323. 54. Kate, “Wie is Semar?” Djawa, III (1923), 55. 55. H. O. “Petroelt als Vorst,” Djawa, II (1922.), 169-1 '72. 56. Cf. H. H. Mangkunagara VII of Surakarta, On the Woyeng Kulit; Clifford Geerrz, The Religion of Java (Glen- coe, 111., 1960), pp. 261—282. 57. H. H. Mangkunagara VII, On the Wayang Kulit, p. 14. 58. livid, p. 16. 59. Ibid., p. 23. 60. lipid, pp. 17-18. 61. Ibid., p. 13. 62. Among several of the existing translations, see The Song of God: Bhagavmi Gite, trans. by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood (New York, 1954). 63. 13133., p. 38. 64. lhid., p. 122. 65. Erik H. Erikson, Young Man Luther (New Yorlt, 1962), p. 136. ...
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SE A ST 1 - (Week 5) The Wayang World - CHAPTER 5 The...

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