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Enjoying Shadow Puppets While Staying At Budget Hotels In Legian Bali

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By Author: tilden marsh
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A big country like Indonesia is bound to have a wide diversity of culture and traditions. One of the country’s famous traditional shows is the wayang kulit or leather shadow puppets. You may not want to miss the opportunity of watching such shows. So it is advisable that you book a room at one of the many budget hotels in Legian Bali and stay a few extra nights to do so. In general, the wayang kulit is two dimensional and the puppets are all made of leather. The details are punched or cut to create a distinctive silhouette once placed between the big white screen and the oil lamp. This form of entertainment is centuries old and is still being showcased as a tourist attraction on the island of Bali.

There are many places near budget hotels in Legian Bali where you can watch the leather figurines come to life. The stories depicted in these ...
... shows are usually religious mythologies set against historical background to lend a certain authenticity to the storyline. The shadow puppet show is often set to play at night due to its requirement of a dark setting to enhance the shadowy figures on the white screen. The show is more often than not a musical with the gamelan providing the background music and the singer singing or chanting, depending on the story being depicted for the night. The dalang manipulates the puppets with rods and is the story teller for the entire show.

Take a step out of your favourite budget hotels in Indonesia and you will find many street vendors selling shadow puppets. Some are truly authentic and made of real goat skin leather while some are just replicas made of plastic or paper. A village in Bali, known as Sukawati is where the best puppet makers and manipulators of them, in the island come from. They usually travel through the island to put on shows to attract tourists. They are very much in demand as the puppet show is one of the highlights of a tourist’s experience on the exotic island. There are also workshops where visitors can choose from a huge selection of puppets to bring home as souvenirs or as a collection.

If you are into truly religious performances, you may not have to go far from your chosen budget hotels in Bali to witness the performance of the leather puppets that is purely religious. Compared to the performances for entertainment’s sake, the religious puppet show is usually performed during the day. Therefore there is no use for the oil lamp and white screen. Instead the colourful puppets are separated from the audiences by a single piece of string. This particular form of puppet show is normally performed at a cremation ceremony. Of course, it can be difficult for you to plan to watch such a show. However, the puppets or their replicas are often sold at souvenir stores for you to keep as a collection.

The unique performance of a wayang kulit may be simple in nature. After all it is just cut-out leather characters with moving jaws held by one single puppet master to tell a story. However, do not be fooled by its simplicity. The show is known to charm many audiences with the mysticism of the tales and myths being told in the storyline. The colourful characters come to life in the hands and voice of one man. It can’t get any more magical than that.

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