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The Origin of Kala: A Sundanese Wayang Golek Purwa Play by Abah Sunarya and Gamelan Giri Harja I

play Translated and introduced by Kathy Foley These scenes from a performance done on December 24, 1978, at Cibintinu near Bandung in West Java were presented in the style of wayang golek purwa--a wooden rod-puppet theatre telling Ramayana and Mahabharata stories that is popular among the Sundanese-speakers who live in this region of Indonesia. The dalang (puppetmaster), Abah Sunarya, was at that time one of the foremost popular performers in West Java. In this genre intricately carved doll puppets dance to the music of the gamelan orchestra on a temporary stage set up in front of the house of the person who has hired the troupe. The dalang does the narration, singing, and dialogue with occasional comments or questions added by the musicians, especially the lurah sekar (head musician). The puppeteer and troupe perform on a raised stage; in front of it is a banana log placed horizontally to form the playboard where the puppets present the play. The play is at once an entertainment and an exorcism. As the performance progresses, the puppets on stage all have their counterparts in the ritual. But rather than a play within a play, this is a play within a ceremony http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Theatre Journal University of Hawai'I Press

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