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Indonesian rod puppets (wayang golek)

Indonesian rod puppet (wayang golek) performances are a kind of blessing bestowed on special events such as circumcisions, weddings, celebrations of the ancestors, and other rites of passage and public events. The performers may be hired by an individual or a family holding a life cycle ceremony, or by an entire village. A performance is meant to engage all members of the community.  Puppet Master Kathey Foley discusses the charcter types associated with Indonesian rod puppets.  Learn more about the puppet theater of Indonesia. Created by Asian Art Museum.

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Video transcript

why Angola is the rod puppet theater of Indonesia it is performed before large public gatherings from dusk to dawn Kathy Fuli is an American doll on or puppeteer who is a professor of theater at UC Santa Cruz the DAO long is the puppet master and the leader of the troupe the character ology that you find in the puppet theater moves from the very refined through the semi refined to the strong to the ogres it's as if we as human beings exist with on a scale and actually in our body we have all these powers we can follow our head or we can follow the lower regions and those create the demonic powers the white face the downcast I will make the most refined character type this one is Arjuna he has a shrimp tail headdress you have to know the gates with which each of these character moves Arjuna moves slowly Trek Trek da da da Craig Craig da da da these characters move a little faster they go tech tech tech tech tech tech tech tech tech they speak KKK I wish to offer my humble greetings and they don't always think before they go out and do things this particular character type is associated with our adolescence the next character type is Gaga or strong as you move into middle age if you have children if you're running museums or other jobs then you are trying to dance this particular row they go to t-bone do t-bone do t-bone doopty BOM ba da but up ha ha ha hey I wish to offer my humble reading they try and impress us with their deep voices and their big steps they do a lot of work but they sometimes mess up the final character type represents our face as we approach our moment of death they're also that part of us that screams that causes trouble that does everything else it's sort of wild and we would love to forget these characters go bah bah bah bah dah at the present time I wish to go to the kingdom the kingdom near the forests of Ionia I have heard there's a beautiful lady by the name of Lady Cynthia she must be mine they're creating trouble in the world this is the emotionally uncontrolled character type this particular character is called Samar he is a god clown if you ever wondered why the universe is strange it's because the first principal was a clown he got this big belly when he was trying to swallow a great world Mountain and people say that this little funny thing his Kunshan it's the axis on which the universe turns he has a black body to represent the night white face to represent the day he's half male and he's half female this particular character was sent down into the world to serve the righteous forces and he also represents the voice little people therefore in any performance the daolon will hold him up and speak as if he's coming from the village I come from Santa Cruz therefore if I'm doing a performance I'd say oh my god boy not booing what a day what a day I just drove down from Santa Cruz coming here to the Asian Art Museum oh the traffic jams I cannot tell you that Fong the cold San Francisco up but that's not what I was going to say what I was going to say is I'm a clown and that may seem like I don't know nothing and I'm a nobody in a know how but you know us little guys we got something up here too so this is ostrich Inga who's probably the most favorite of the Sundanese clowns hey what's up mmm what's going down like what's happening here can anyone tell me yeah that's it I know I know now yeah the very end of Hawaiian performance you say the flower has been picked may its fragrance spread and that means the seed has gone from me to you the viewer and it will have hopefully take root and growth in the community