Thursday, February 10, 2011

Performance of Wayang Kulit (Leather Puppet)

Wayang kulit is performed the whole night commencing at about 09.00 PM to 05.00 AM. It needs around eight hours to perform a plot of stories from Ramayana or Mahabrata epoch.
From Ramayana, for instance could be performed the story (lakon) of Anoman Duta for the whole night. Duta means envoy, ambassador. This plot tells the episode when Anoman was assigned by Rama to visit Alengka Kingdom to negotiate with Rahwana to release Sinta peacefully.
The performance could start with the birth of Anoman, his experiences while he was young showing how he learned his knowledge, got supernatural power, etc, until he met Rama and entrusted to act as his envoy to Alengka.
In Alengka he tried to accomplish his job in the best possible manner, but jailed due to rejection of Rahwana. He escaped from death penalty by burning the city. He could see Sinta in her custody, found out that she was safe and still loyal to her husband. Anoman finally could left Alengka and reported result of his mission to Rama. The performance of this story should end at 05.00 o'clock in the morning just before the sunrise.
Other plot (lakon) Rama Tambak (tambak means dam). It tells the story when Rama with the help of the monkey king Sugriwa and his soldiers were making a bridge across the sea to access to Alengka.
From Mahabharata there are several plots could be performed for example, Gatotkaca Winisuda (winisuda from the word wisuda means to graduate or graduation ceremony), tells the story when Gatotkaca was assigned as Senopati (Chief Warrior) of Pandawa in Bharatayuda. It could start with his days as youngster, showing his supernatural power and knowledge since his infant, his unreserved love to Pandawa, his marriage until his appointment as Senopati in Bharatayuda.
Other plot showing more religious aspect is for example, the story of Bima Suci (suci : holy), telling how Bima overcome a lot of obstacles when he searched the holy water of life. Until finally he met with Dewa Ruci, a very small god by build who told Bima the secret of life.
It is important to select the plot of story before performance, usually in accordance with the aim of a ceremony. For instance, someone is assigned to be a new rector of a university, to celebrate this occasion the university is performing wayang kulit. The plot of story considered as relevant is Lahire Wisanggeni (the birth of Wisanggeni). Wisanggeni is one of the Arjuna's sons, he has a very strong natural power and clever since his birth. Above all, he is honest, he would tell the truth to everybody and he is very obedient to Pandawa and Dewa.
Upon their instruction, he would carry it, even if he has to lose his life.
DALANG (The Puppet Master or The Story Teller)
After deciding the title of wayang story, a dalang (puppet master), a dalang to perform the show must be appointed. Dalang position is very important, as he is the leader of the performance. Sometimes dalang could be chosen first, afterwards a consultation with him could be held to choose an appropriate title.
Dalang comes from the words juru udalan (juru : an expert, a skillful man - udalan abbreviated to dalan, then becomes dalang means to tell stories), so dalang is a story teller.
Dalang is an overall artist. He must have a broad knowledge of several disciplines of arts, such as :
1. Mastering deeply the stories of wayang Ramayana as well as Mahabharata, knows the characters of wayang figures.
2. Having a thorough knowledge of Javanese philosophy and moral ethics, as Javanese philosophy and moral ethics are inter-connected, or might be almost similar.
3. Having an accurate information in many aspects of life in the country (or even internationally in this era of information and globalization).
4. Having a good and clear voice, as he has to imitate about 50 (fifty) wayang figures with different voices. He has to explain every occasion, which has or should happened. And he has also to perfectly master the language 'high' and 'ordinary' used in dialogue, song and narration. He has to be a good singer, as he has to sing a lot during a performance.
5. Having the ability of preparing the scenario, so that plot of stories should flow smoothly, in accordance with standard patterns.
6. He has to know gamelan (Javanese musical instruments) used to accompany the show. He has also the capacity of a conductor as he should command the gamelan music; when it should begin and stop, and he should ask the gamelan crew what kind of music or song to be played.
7. He has to lead the chorus of pesinden (women singers), usually consists of three to five singers and wira swara (male singers).
8. He has to be skillful to move the puppets attractively.
9. He has to know how to make good jokes, at the sametime advising the audience unnoticeably.
This part of play occurred at midnight at the Goro-goro episode, which last about one hour. During that time the Ponokawan appears. At most occasion the dalang plays a role as mouthpiece of the sponsors. In a performance organized by Agency of Family Planning, he should arise the topics of Family Planning. In front of the arm forces or police forces, he should speak of leadership and discipline. Before an audience in university he should speak of knowledge, good conduct and the goals of life.
In the village, he should speak about the spirit of cooperation, development and any topics, which should give optimism to the villagers. The topics might be different, but here are similarities; he should tell it jokingly, interrupted by many songs, sung by the pesinden - women singers, accompanied by gamelan music. He should insert some advises on morality, hard working and every deed must be conducted properly not hurting other's feeling, not breaking the laws, especially the highest law such as the law of God.
Generally the Goro-goro time is full of laughters and musics, which make the audience happy and entertained.
Last but not least a dalang must be a healthy man or woman (nowadays, there are some women dalang), with a good physical endurance because dalang has to sit cross legged for eight hours on a mat to perform wayang. 

It is needed to accommodate the performance, sometimes it is an elevated stage around 0,5 to 1 meter higher than audience's chairs.
On stage there is a white cotton screen illuminated by blencong (an oil lamp, hangs above the dalang), nowadays, a spotlight is used. From behind the scene, some audience watch the performance. They see the shadow of the puppets. Shadow in Javanese is wayang, from here the words of wayang kulit come. The mass of the audience sits in front of the screen to watch the wayang played by dalang.
On the right and left side of dalang, the wayang figures were arranged stuck to a banana tree poles. And at the left and right ends of the screen, banquets of bananas and leaves tree are decorated. Behind dalang the gamelan music instruments are arranged and played by the wiyogo (gamelan players).
The chorus of some pesinden (woman singers) as well as male singers are sitting there too. Next to the left side of dalang, there is a wooden box used by dalang to beat his instruments. The 'keprak', several pieces of small size iron plates hit by dalang by using right foot. From time to time, dalang during narration hit the wooden box with his hand by a 'cempolo' (wooden mallet).
The gunungan (from gunung : mountain) or kekayon, a mountain like leather puppet has an important part in wayang performance. Symbolizing the power of life of the creator, gunungan is used to begin the play, change one scene to other or imagine wind, obstacles, mountain, clouds or seas.
Before commencing wayang performance, a set of traditional offerings have been prepared with incense burning, a prayer to God Almighty is said in the hope the wayang performance should be conducted safely and the message should be accepted by the audience.
The pattern of wayang show begins with court audience, followed by a battle between a ksatria and giants (buto) lead by Buto Cakil. The ksatria wins the battle by killing Buto Cakil, it's symbolizing that every good efforts should end successfully after eliminating the obstacles.
Then, the appearance of the famous Ponokawan, which is very comical and full of laughter, songs and music. Nowadays, some guest stars such as local famous singers and jokers might take part in the interlude made the show livelier.
Followed by some meeting and decisive battles until morning. At the end a wooden puppet (in javanese Golek) is played by dalang. The word golek means to search, in that case the audience is requested to search, the meaning of the story which has been performed the whole night. Gunungan is stuck in the middle of the screen.
Lessons from Wayang Kulit Performance
1.On the top, it's a lesson of morality, honesty, truth should win against evil.
2.One has to choose what to do in accordance with his own belief.
  • Kumbakarna has to choose to fight despite Rahwana's sinful deeds, not to defend his brother but to defend his country. "Right or wrong is my country".
  • Wibisana, he chooses to defend the absolute truth. A sin committed by his own brother - the king, must be condemned. He decides to join Rama, the right side.
3.It is reflecting events in life.
  • One must work hard decently before attaining his goals.
  • Lust of material wealth should bring disaster to other people and at the end should ruin his own life.
  • Love affaires exist since ancient time. But do not follow the wrong examples, such as the one between Begawan Wisrawa and Sukesi, Rahwana's parents.
4.Life Purification.
A king gives up his own crown, goes to solitude and lives as a Begawan to meditate, purifying his soul to reach a true holiness.
5.Everyone is longing to live in a just (adil) and prosperous (makmur) society, in the safe, peaceful and secured situation with the blessing of God Almighty.
(Suryo S. Negoro)

No comments:

Post a Comment


Raden Gatotkaca

Raden Gatotkaca adalah putera Raden Wrekudara yang kedua. Ibunya seorang putri raksasa bernama Dewi Arimbi di Pringgandani. Waktu dilahirkan Gatotkaca berupa raksasa, karena sangat saktinya tidak ada senjata yang dapat memotong tali pusatnya. Kemudian tali pusat itu dapat juga dipotong dengan senjata Karna yang bernama Kunta, tetapi sarung senjata itu masuk ke dalam perut Gatotkaca, dan menambah lagi kesaktiannya.
Dengan kehendak dewa-dewa, bayi Gatotkaca itu dimasak seperti bubur dan diisi dengan segala kesaktian; karena. itu Raden Gatotkaca berurat kawat, bertulang besi, berdarah gala-gala, dapat terbang di awan dan duduk di atas awan yang melintang. Kecepatan Gatotkaca pada waktu terbang di awan bagai kilat dan liar bagai halilintar. Kesaktiannya dalam perang, dapat mencabut leher. musuhnya dengan digunakan pada saat yang penting. Gatotkaca diangkat jadi raja di Pringgadani dan ia disebut kesatria di Pringgadani, karena pemerintahan negara dikuasai oleh keturunan dari pihak perempuan. Dalam perang Baratayudha Gatotkaca tewas oleh senjata Kunta yang ditujukan kepada Gatotkaca. Ketika Gatotkaca bersembunyi dalam awan. Gatotkaca jatuh dari angkasa dan mengenai kereta kendaraan Karna hingga hancur lebur. Gatotkaca beristerikan saudara misan, bernama Dewi Pregiwa, puteri Raden Arjuna.

Dalam riwayat, Gatotkaca mati masih sangat muda, hingga sangat disesali oleh sekalian keluarganya.
Menurut kata dalang waktu Raden Gatotkaca akan mengawan, diucapkan seperti berikut :
Tersebutlah, pakaian Raden Gatotkaca yang juga disebut kesatria di Pringgadani: Berjamang mas bersinar-sinar tiga susun, bersunting mas berbentuk bunga kenanga dikarangkan berupa surengpati. (Surengpati berarti berani pada ajalnya. Sunting serupa ini juga dipakai untuk seorang murid waktu menerima ilmu dari gurunya bagi ilmu kematian, untuk lambang bah.wa orang yang menerima ilmu itu takkan takut pada kematiannya). Bergelung (sanggul) bentuk supit urang tersangga oleh praba, berkancing sanggul mas tua bentuk garuda membelakang dan bertali ulur-ulur bentuk naga terukir, berpontoh nagaraja, bergelang kana (gelang empat segi). Berkain (kampuh) sutera jingga, dibatik dengan lukisan seisi hutan, berikat-pinggang cindai hijau, becelana cindai biru, berkeroncong suasa bentuk nagaraja, uncal diberi emas anting.

Diceritakan, Raden Gatotkaca waktu akan berjalan ia berterumpah Padakacarma, yang membuatnya dapat terbang tanpa sayap. Bersongkok Basunanda, walaupun pada waktu panas terik takkan kena panas, bila hujan tak kena air hujan. Diceritakan Raden Gatotkaca menyingsingkan kain bertaliwanda, ialah kain itu dibelitkan pada badan bagian belakang Raden Gatotkaca segera menepuk bahu dan menolakkan kakinya kebumi, terasa bumi itu mengeram di bawah kakinya. Mengawanlah ia keangkasa.
Wayang itu diujudkan sebagai terbang, ialah dijalan kain, dari kanan ke kiri, dibagian kelir atas beberapa kali lalu dicacakkan, ibarat berhenti di atas awan, dan dalang bercerita pula, Tersebutlah Raden Gatotkaca telah mengawan, setiba di angkasa terasa sebagai menginjak daratan, menyelam di awan biru, mengisah awan di hadapannya dan tertutuplah oleh awan di belakangnya, samar samar tertampak ia di pandangan orang. Sinar pakaian Gatotkaca yang kena sinar matahari sebagai kilat memburunya. Maka berhentilah kesatria Pringgadani di awan melintang, menghadap pada awan yang lain dengan melihat ke kanan dan ke kiri. Setelah hening pemandangan Gatotkaca, turunlah ia dari angkasa menuju ke bumi,
Adipati Karna waktu perang Baratayudha berperang tanding melawan Gatotkaca. Karna melepaskan senjata kunta Wijayadanu, kenalah Gatotkaca dengan senjata itu pada pusatnya. Setelah Gatotkaca kena panah itu jatuhlah Gatotkaca dari angkasa,, menjatuhi kereta kendaraan Karna, hingga hancur lebur kereta itu.
Tersebut dalam cerita, Raden Gatotkaca seorang kesatria yang tak pernah bersolek, hanya berpakaian bersahaja, jauh dari pada wanita. Tetapi setelah Gatotkaca melihat puteri Raden Arjuna, Dewi Pregiwa, waktu diiring oleh Raden Angkawijaya, Raden Gatotkaca jatuh hati lantaran melihat puteri itu berhias serba bersahaja. Berubah tingkah Raden. Gatotkaca ini diketahui oleh ibunya (Dewi Arimbi) dengan sukacita dan menuruti segala permintaan Raden Gatotkaca. Kemudian puteri ini diperisteri Raden Gatotkaca.


Gatotkaca bermata telengan (membelalak), hidung dempak, berkumis dan beryanggut. Berjamang tiga susun, bersunting waderan, sanggul kadal-menek, bergaruda membelakang, berpraba, berkalung ulur-ulur, bergelang, berpontoh dan berkeroncong. Berkain kerajaan lengkap.
Gatotkaca berwanda 1 Guntur, 2 Kilat 3 Tatit. 4 Tatit sepuh, 5 Mega dan 6 Mendung.

Sedjarah Wayang Purwa, terbitan Balai Pustaka juga tahun 1965. Disusun oleh Pak Hardjowirogo.

Sekilas Tentang Cerita Ramayana

Prabu Dasaratha dari negeri Ayodya memiliki empat putra; Rama, Bharata, Laksmana dan Satrughna. Maka suatu hari seorang resi bernama Wiswamitra memohon bantuan Sri Paduka Dasaratha untuk menolongnya membebaskan pertapaannya dari serangan para raksasa. Maka Rama dan Laksamana berangkat.

Di pertapaan, Rama dan Laksmana menghabisi semua raksasa dan kemudian mereka menuju negeri Mithila di mana diadakan sebuah sayembara. Siapa menang dapat mendapat putri raja bernama Sita. Para peserta disuruh merentangkan busur panah yang menyertai kelahiran Sita. Tak seorangpun berhasil kecuali Rama, maka mereka pun menikah dan lalu kembali ke Ayodya.

Di Ayodya Rama suatu hari akan dipersiapkan dinobatkan sebagai raja, karena ia adalah putra sulung. Namun Kaikeyi, salah seorang istri raja Dasaratha yang bukan ibu Rama berakta bahwa sri baginda pernah berjanji bahwa Bharata lah yang akan menjadi raja. Maka dengan berat hati raja Dasaratha mengabulkannya karena memang pernah berjanji demikian. Kemudian Rama, Sita dan Laksmana pergi meninggalkan istana. Selang beberapa lama, raja Dasaratha meninggal dunia dan Bharata mencari mereka. Ia merasa tidak pantas menjadi raja dan meminta Rama untuk kembali. Tetapi Rama menolak dan memberikan sandalnya (bahasa Sansekerta: pâduka) kepada Bharata sebagai lambang kekuasaannya.

Relief Sita yang diculik. Relief ini terdapat di Candi Prambanan, Jawa Tengah.

Maka Rama, Sita dan Laksmana berada di hutan Dandaka. Di sana ada seorang raksasi bernama Surpanakha yang jatuh cinta kepada Laksmana dan ia menyamar menjadi wanita cantik. Tetapi Laksmana tak berhasil dibujuknya dan malahan akhirnya ujung hidungnya terpotong. Surpanakha marah dan mengadu kepada kakaknya sang Rahwana (Rawana) dan membujuknya untuk menculik Sita dan memperistrinya. Akhirnya Rahwana menyuruh Marica, seorang raksasa untuk menculik Sita. Lalu Marica bersiasat dan menyamar menjadi seekor kijang emas yang elok. Sita tertarik dan meminta suaminya untuk menangkapnya. Rama meninggalkan Sita bersama Laksmana dan pergi mengejar si kijang emas. Si kijang emas sangat gesit dan tak bisa ditangkap, akhirnya Sri Rama kesal dan memanahnya. Si kijang emas menjerit kesakitan berubah kembali menjadi seorang raksasa dan mati. Sita yang berada di kejauhan mengira yang menjerit adalah Rama dan menyuruh Laksamana mencarinya. Laksmana menolak tetapi akhirnya mau setelah diperolok-olok dan dituduh Sita bahwa ia ingin memilikinya. Akhirnya Sita ditinggal sendirian dan bisa diculik oleh Rahwana.

Teriakan Sita terdengar oleh burung Jatayu yang pernah berkawan dengan prabu Dasaratha dan ia berusaha menolong Sita. Tetapi Rahwana lebih kuat dan bisa mengalahkan Jatayu. Jatayu yang sekarat masih bisa melapor kepada Rama dan Laksmana bahwa Sita dibawa ke Lengka, kerajaan Rahwana.

Kemudian Rama dan Laksmana mencari kerajaan ini. Di suatu daerah mereka berjumpa dengan kera-kera dan seorang raja kera bernama Bali yang menculik istri kakaknya. Akhirnya Bali bisa dibunuh dan istrinya dikembalikan ke Sugriwa dan Sugriwa bersedia membantu Rama. Akhirnya dengan pertolongan bala tentara kera yang dipimpin Hanuman, mereka berhasil membunuh Rahwana dan membebaskan Sita. Sita lalu diboyong kembali ke Ayodya dan Rama dinobatkan menjadi raja.

Sumber dari ( Ensiklopedia Bebas )

"Kakawin Ramayana"


Istilah Pewayangan

Berikut ini adalah sebutan yang digunakan dalam dunia pewayangan:

  1. Begawan adalah sebutan untuk seorang pendeta yang berasal dari raja yang meninggalkan kerajaan.
  2. Batara atau Betara adalah sebutan untuk tokoh wayang yang berjiwa Ketuhanan, dan merupakan titisan Dewa.
  3. Dahyang: sama dengan sebutan Pendeta.
  4. Dewa: sebutan untuk tokoh wayang yang berjiwa Ketuhanan.
  5. Dewi: sebutan untuk seorang puteri kerajaan atau sebutan untuk dewa perempuan
  6. Yanggan : sebutan rendahan dari tokoh Wasi.
  7. Resi : sebutan untuk seorang yang suci.
  8. Sang: awalan sebutan yang luhur.
  9. Pandita : sebutan seorang yang luhur jiwanya.
  10. Wara : sebutan seorang yang tersohor, baik laki-laki atau perempuan.
  11. Wasi sebutan seorang pendeta yang agak rendahan.
  12. Putut : sebutan seorang murid atau pelayan pendeta.
  13. Cekel: hamba seorang pendeta yang dianggap keluarga.
  14. Cantrik : hamba atau anak murid pendeta.
  15. Prabu : sebutan seorang raja.

Sumber :