Wayang Wong | Balinese Human Drama

If the Wayang Kulit  is closely related to the sacred ceremonies not so the Wayang Wong ( meaning human puppet). It is obviously know that this Wayang Wong is no other than  living actors who take place of that flat leather puppets’ role. It has been secularized, thought it still functions as devotional expression during various kinds of festival. It is magically powerful and particular suited to certain season of the year especially Galungan and Kuningan, when the ancestral gods have for a short period left their abode in the supernatural world and come down to inhabit their shrines in the house temples. There are two types of Wayang Wong.

One is limited to the Ramayana repertory and requires a large cast of actors, usually masked throughout representing the various characters of the Ramayana  as portrayed in the Wayang Kulit figures. Even the customes are adjusted to these of the puppets. The other performing the  the Mahabharata is called Wayang Wong Parwa or in short Parwa and normally the actors are unmasked. Both are drama dances with dialogue. The latter is a little deviated from the puppet appearance and characters, but both have striking similarities in musical accompaniment and archaic formalities. In the beginning the actors were all men but later on the female roles were played by actresses. It is to be pitied that a present such kinds of drama dances a few are left and only found in some remote villages.

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