Arts in Indonesia
Art forms are not only based on
folklore. Most of them have developed in the courts of former kingdoms so
that, like in Bali, they have become part of religious ceremonies. The famous
dance dramas of Java and Bali are derived from Hindu mythology and often
feature fragments from the Ramayana and Mahabharata Hindu epics.
Puppets of the wayang kulit shadow
play are made of intricately carved and colorfully painted leather, while the wayang
golek puppets are made of the light but strong arbasiah wood and dressed
in batik wooden puppets. Both the wayang kulit and wayang golek theaters are
operated by the dalang (puppeteer) who manipulates the puppets and
makes them "speak" in different voices and accents according to
character age and/or sex. Besides, the dalang must be at the same time a
composer, improviser, producer, orator, singer, choir master, dance master and
stage manager. Wayang golek and wayang kulit performances are
accompanied by the Javanese gamelan musical instruments. The wayang
kulit performance is very popular with the people in Central Java, while the wayang
golek is generally performed in West Java.
The bamboo angklung musical
instruments of West Java and the wooden kolintang of North Sulawesi are widely
known. Another kind of musical instrument which is also attractive and unique
is the sasando of East Nusa Tenggara. Sasando is a stringed musical instrument
made of lontar leaves and is handled like a guitar.
The Bataks of North Sumatra and
the Ambonese of Maluku are known for their ability to sing to the
accompaniment of the guitar.
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