WAYANG IN INDONESIA
By Dr. Suyanto, S.Kar, MA.
Wayang does not only exist in Java and Indonesia, but also surround the world. It has been decreed and proclaimed by UNESCO on 7 November 2003, that Wayang Indonesia was as a Masterpiece of the Oral and intangible Heritage of Humanity, or a Cultural Master peace of the World. On the one side, it was a great achievement for Indonesia, but on the other side, we have to think about the next, what we have to do for wayang? We need to understand the values of wayang seriously. By understanding people will be aware how important the values of wayang story. Philosophy is one of the way to approached of wayang. I would like to talk about wayang to be approached by philosophy aspects.
Indonesia is seemed by world as the most right country of art and culture. Within the global era one of the asset which can be promoted is culture product particularly tradition of performing art. The one of art and culture product which still responded by society is wayang kulit Commitment from all nation in the world toward high values of wayang clime up real consequences from ethics and morality of Indonesian which has been known as the owner of wayang. The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has given predicate and to proclaim that Wayang seem as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. This is not only an honor solely and for making proud for us, but it seem as a motivation for Indonesia people to introspection and to look forward what will do for future, in order to make the wayang’s values become more useful for human live.
B. Wayang Performance
The wayang’s performance is normally called pakeliran or pedalangan. Pakeliran come from a ward kelir, that’s means screen. But the ward of pakeliran means scense of all the story in the wayang performance. Within tradition of Javanese Drama such as Kêthoprak, Wayang Wong, Ludrug and so on, the performing of the scenes usually called kelir. For example: scene one, scene two, scene three, etc. (kelir siji, kelir loro, kelir telu). Including wayang golek, even though it doesn’t use screen, but also called pakeliran.
It’s called seni pedalangan becausse of the performance of wayang directed by a dalang, which to organize the story for all of performance. During the performance of wayang, dalang beside as the sutradara, also as the character of wayangs and stage manager. So with in the wayang performance, dalang seem as a central figure which to decide everything during the performance is going on.
According to the wayang form and the kinds of the performance, wayangs has many kinds of form, as following.
1) Wayang Beber
Performance of wayang beber is behold by a dalang, otherwise to tell the story, he shows pictures the wayang beber, which to descript all happening within the sceane on the paper rool according to the story which to be performed (Mulyono,1975: 158). Story of wayang beber sources from Javanese history around Majapahit Kingdom, especially the story of Jaka kembangkuning.
2) Wayang Kulit (Purwa)
Wayang Purwa is the wayang show which the performing take story sources from Ramayana and Mahabharata. The roll of the performance actually can be wayang kulit, wayang golek or wayang wong. The ward of purwa come from parwa means a part from Mahabharata epict. Within Javanese society all the older generation side that the ward of purwa the same with purba. So that wayang purwa is also give meaning as wayang performance which tell story from the oldest period (Purba).
3) Wayang Madya
Wayang Madya has distinctive feature: the body posture is devised to become two part, half up to be wayang purwa but half down to be wayang gedog. This puppet is made from leather, to be carved and painted look like wayang purwa. The performance uses gamelan pelog of tuning system. The orchestra and vocal also use specific for wayang madya. The story source is Serat Pustaka Raja Madya, which telling of story about heritage from Pndawa since Dipayana orParikesit until Jayabaya in Mamenang.
4) Wayang Gedhog
Wayang Gedhog is made from leather, carved and painted look like wayang kulit purwa. The story source from cycle of Panji, the mind characteristic called Panji Asmasabangun or Inu Kartapati from Jenggala and Dewi Sekartaji from Kediri. The form of wayang gedhog has distinctive feature such as wearing tekes on the had and rapekan. The performance of wayang gedhog almost the same with wayang madya.
5) Wayang wasana.
There are many kinds of wayang wasana as followed: wayang Klithik or wayang Krucil; which made from timber only the hands made from leather. The story usually taken from Serat Ménak (hikayat Amir Hamzah) or Babat (Damarwulan). Wayang Suluh are made from leather the posture look like human, to express characteristics of revolution era. Wayang Wahyu, this puppet are made from leather to express characteristics the straggle of Jesus. It’s including the angles and the evils. This puppet performs only for Christianity ceremony. Wayang Pancasila, It looks like wayang purwa but given attribute as revolution heroes. The performance is also like wayang purwa, but the story token from Indonesia History. Wayang Dupara is specially wayang to express the historical characteristic around Mataram Islamic period. Wayang Sadat included wayang media for developing Islamic religion.
Basically among many kinds of wayang as called above, eventhouhg the story source and the style of the puppets deferent, but if it seem from performance there have similarity. All of them are included the performance art of pedalangan. At list there are seven aspects which connected in Seni Pedalangan, such as: Drama (seni drama), literature (seni sastra), painting (seni lukis), craft (seni kriya), vocal (seni suara), music (seni karawitan), and dance (seni tari).
By the aspect of drama, wayang performance can be knewn and to be understood the meaning and the philosophy of values from the all story. From the literature aspect can be heard and understood the expression of language of pedalangan which very aesthetic. In general pedalangan uses the tradition Javanese language, as especially in East Java, Central Java, and West Java use Javanese grammar which also collaborate with Kawi. By following the idioms of Kawi within language of pedalangan, to expose the impression specific and wonderful. By aspect of painting can be seen the form and scads of color also accessories to be fantastic and representative according to characteristic and psychology of wayang. By this way, audiences will be easy to make different between one character and other.
C. The development of the shape and form of leather shadow puppet
up to the present
When wayang kulit first appeared? There are many differences of opinion among scholars about this question. According to the Javanese chronicles, Babad Tanah Jawi, as explained in the book by R,M. Sajid entitled Sejarah Wayang Beber, 1980, Suryawisesa of the Jenggala Kingdom in East Java (1145 AD) started to draw the form of wayang purwa on leaves of the tal tree (siwalan leave). The form were drawn on these leaves because at that time paper was not known yet in this area. Since tal leave are only about 3 cm wide the picture were very small, and their form was look like human figure (Wirastodipuro, 2006: 603).
Brawijaya V, the last king of the Majapahit kingdom, had a son called Prabangkara who was ordered to learn about drawing and coloring wayang picture. He modeled his drawing on old black and white picture which he shaded with variety of new colors. As an example, the accessories of a king had to be different from those of a knight or a servant. Because of his skill in the art of drawing and coloring wayang (nyungging), he also called Sungging Prabangkara.
Raden Patah , the 13th son of Brawijaya, ruled the Demak Kingdom from 1481 – 1518 AD with the title Sultan Syah Alam Akbar Sayidin Panetep Panata Gama, and is said to have been very fond of wayang performances. At that time, the picture of wayang beber were still human in form. The Demak kingdom was the first Islamic kingdom on the Island of Java, and for his reason, it did not allow wayang picture which showed true human form. The Islamic leaders (Wali) discussed the matter to try and find a way to solve the problem so that wayang performance could continue to be held without violent Islamic laws. They finally reached a decision that the implementation of wayang performance should be held under the supervision of Sunan Kalijaga, an Islamic leader who was also a native of Java and an expert on Javanese culture.
Eventually, the humanlike wayang pictures were redesigned according to human characteristics but not in human form. They became much longer and took on completely colored in different shapes, although some pictures continued to be drawn in the form of wayang beber, in which several picture were drawn on a single long sheet of leather.
In later developments, wayang puppet was created individually to represent different characters, each separate from the other, which could be moved and brought to life, just as in modern day wayang kulit.
In order to adapt the traditional moral norms, the female characters wore kemben, a piece of cloth to cover the chest, unlike the Prambanan temple relief which depict the Ramayana story and show female characters with bare breasts, similar to the jangger dancer in Bali prior to the 1930 (Wirastodipuro,2006: 605).
D. Wayang as a missionary media of Islamic in Indonesia
Wayang was as a missionary media for Islamic development in Indonesia since Demak Kingdom. At that time Wali Sanga already used wayang performance as missionary media, wayang was a part from Javanese culture, of course wayang always clause with Javanese people. By using wayang performance, the Islamic leader (Wali) could teach the Islamic doctrine easily. Wayang was very flexible to be used for missionary media, especially for Islamic, because wayang has many aspect can be approached as followed.
1. Psychologies; wayang can penetrate feeling from ratio and the ratio serve directed to knowledge solely.
2. History; In fact that wayang has seem as hobby not only Javanese but almost all Nusantara society from long time a go. It was not only by the low level society but also by the high level society.
3. Pedagogy; Wayang has fully values of education, so that wayang is very important to be conserved.
4. Politic aspect; by using wayang as media, so that the missionary of Islamic does not to get difficulties, can be resifted by all society, wither like or dislike toward Islamic if it was compared with other way.
5. Economic aspect; by wayang performance the fee of missionary would be creeper and more effective than other media.
6. Practice; within wayang story fully philosophy value which relevant with Islamic doctrine.
E. Wali Sanga and Wayang
There are many people predicts that wayang purwa created by Hinduism and Budhism. Otherwise they interpret that wayang from India. Even though if we show the wayang to Indian they don’t know any thing. Not many people know that wayang was builed and created by Wali Sanga and involve Islamic education values. As Siswaharsaja said that, because of connected with Islamic values within wayang performance does not seem clearly, which easily to understand (Zarkasi, 1996: 69).
F. Wali Sanga build up Wayang Purwa to against
Polytheism and for Missionary of Islam
Majapahit kingdom at 1443 Saka basic Budhism change to basic of Islamic (Demak), than wayang Beber were boiled up to become wayang kulit by Wali Sanga, every character separated as individually character. By this way, the Islamic leader’s means already to be able to against the polytheism elements, because Islam has three (3) kinds law of picture as following: wenang (mubah), makruh, and musyrik. Mubah is all of pictures which to explain about education, natural phenomena, animal, and so on. Makruh is all picture which to express immorality, pornography, and so on. Musyrik is all pictures which to make people become wrong worship, they do not believe to the God any more (Zaekazi, 1996: 69).
G. The Philosophy of Wayang Kulit.
Wayang is a Javanese tradition performing art, which contains Javanese culture massages and philosophical values as the way of life, leadership morality, education, and religion. Values in the wayang kulit related with Javanese philosophical. According to Javanese tradition, the story of Wayang conventionally involves multi dimensional philosophy. The contents of the stories convey about concept of human life. Beside, this story also contains many kinds of symbols lead to the meaning of human life as part of macrocosms, values structure, and conveys the essence of human being. Totally, the story organize human consciousness, that is how the relation between human and God, human and others, and human and themselves. This paper also discusses about philosophical value in Javanese wayang kulit covering the puppets, performance, and the story.
Firstly, the meaning of the name wayang kulit. Wayang kulit are made out of leather (Javanese: wacucal) or skin, which means that only the outer layer. If we wish to know the deeper meaning of a story, we must first peel back the outer layer and analyze the message it contains (Wirastodipuro, 2006: 635). In general, at the traditions wayang kulit performance is ended by a dance called “golek”. The word “golek” means to search for something, so it represents a suggestion for the audience to search for the deeper meaning contained in the performance.
According to Poerwadarminta (1939), the word wayang means: (a) the form of an object which occurs when a light is shone on the object. (b) The shape of a person or other object made from leather. Long time a go, wayang kulit was usually viewed from behind of screen, in which case all that was visible were the shadows. The actual puppets could only be seen from in front of the screen. This means that in this life, not all problems can be seen clearly and many are covered by a screen, making them difficult to understand. For this reason, we should always try to remove the screen which is covering up the real problem.
Secondly, the meaning of the performance. A wayang kulit performance is made up of several different pieces of equipment, each of which has a particular meaning, as follows:
a. The white screen which is set up in front of the dalang symbolizes the vast universe. The top of the screen represents the sky and is painted black, dark blue or dark red. It is known as plangitan which means the sky or heavens. The bottom of the screen, the color of which is designed to match the upper part of the screen, represents the earth and is known as the palemahan or earth.
b. The banana trunk, which placed below the screen and is used to hold the puppets, symbolizes the earth which gives life to mankind.
c. The blencong or lamp which lights the screen, symbolizes the sun which lights up the world.
d. The gamelan, which sound throughout the wayang kulit performance, plays a variety of different pieces which can evoke different moods, from happy to sad, terrifying to spirited, such as for accompanying battle scenes. It represents the different rhythms of life as we travel through the world.
e. The screen (kelir) and lamp (blencong) also symbolize the macrocosm and the story performed tells of human life in the microcosm. Thus, each wayang kulit story describes the relationship between the macrocosm and microcosm, in particular between the creator and mankind (Wirastodipuro, 2006: 637).
Thirdly, the meaning of the screen before the performance begins. Before beginning the wayang kulit performance, all that can be seen the empty screen with the gunungan or kayon (mountain – like puppet) placed in its centre, illuminated by blencong or lamp. This describes an empty world before the wayang characters appear, as the puppets are still lined up to the right and left of the screen (simpingan). The dalang has already taken his seat and has already decided what story is to be performed, including the details of each scene. The dalang may not deviate from the main plot and must ensure the continuation of the story from start to finish. The meaning of this is that everything that happens in this world has already been predestined to happen by the creator. The dalang is simply carrying out what has been destined to happen.
Zoedmulder (1990: 296) describes the above representation with the following words: “…it all describes God’s power to determine everything before the world was even created. All the stories have been created and performed in God’s mind before the puppets appear on the screen the world. In a place which is desolate and silent because human form does not exist yet …….when the puppets are finally placed on the face of the screen, the story which has been determined can no longer be changed…”
Fourthly, the lessons contained in the story. The story of wayang performance contains many kinds of education values, which can improve and refine of moral and human characteristic. These values of education included:
a. Lessons to provide spiritual understanding; from the beginning of live in the world where all things are created, to life in this world, and then continuing to eternal life in the next world.
b. Giving advice about the danger of worldly desires, improving moral behavior in society, and teaching about the process of human life from birth until death.
Hasim Amir (1991) stated that in wayang performances there are approximately 20 ethical values, some of which explain about the following:
1. True perfection
2. True unity
4. True honesty
5. True justice
6. True wisdom
7. True strength
8. True responsibility
9. True determination
10. True freedom, and so on.
Some of these “ethical values” are presented by the dalang through the story. It is therefore important for the audience to follow closely and pay good attention the dalang’s talks.
The dalang speaks in Javanese with elegant and flowery language, interprets at times with ancient Javanese or Kawi. Below is an example of a passage spoken by the dalang which describes the situation in a particular country where everyone lives prosperously and serves their country devoutly.
Nagari panjang punjung, pasir wukir, gemah ripah, loh jinawi, tata tentrem, karta raharja. Para kawula abdi dalem mantri bupati samya sayuk rukun, saijeg saeka kapti denya ngangkat karyaning praja.
“In a famous land with fertile soil, all live peacefully and prosperously. All the people and the rulers live in harmony for welfare of their country”.
Members of audience who do not understand Javanese will of course have trouble capturing the true meaning. For this reason, the dalang sometimes uses language and words which are more easily understood, at times using words from the Indonesian language or other foreign language (Wirastodipuro, 2006: 639).
In conclusion, from the above explanation it can be seen that wayang kulit performance contains a wide range of moral lessons and advice, which to be very important for human life. The understanding of philosophical values in the wayang is hoped to give contribution to wild society and every one become good morality, good personality, good wisdom, and being able to bring our life to be better future.
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