Wayang Topeng or
Wayang Gedog

This wayang wong, human theater, with the topics of Jenggala Kingdom, where the players are wearing masks (Gedog comes from the word kedok = topeng, which is meant mask).

A true love story between Princess Candra Kirana of Kediri and Raden Panji Asmarabangun, the crown prince of Jenggala. Candra Kirana was incarnation of Dewi Ratih (goddess of love) while Panji was incarnation of Kamajaya (god of love). The story of Raden Panji and Candra Kirana was written in a poem called 'Smaradahana' the fire of love. At the happy ending, they got married and a son by the name Raja Putra was born. Panji Asmarabangun throned as a king of Jenggala with the names Sri Kameswara or Prabu Suryowiseso or Hino Kertapati.
Wayang topeng is still popular up to the present date. It is performed in a shorter period, in a special gathering, wedding parties, etc, entertaining the guests for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Wayang Golek or Wooden Puppet

Wooden puppet is performed almost the same way as the wayang kulit, but there is no screen in front of the puppeteer, and no banana trunk to stuck the wayang. In stead a 'Plangkan' (permanent wooden table with holes) to support the wooden puppets is used.

In Central and East Java, wayang golek is telling a story of Menak, Amir Hamzah, the uncle of Prophet Muhammad, called also wayang Menak. While in West Java, wayang golek is more popular with the topics of Mahabharata and Ramayana.

The name of Amir Hamzah in Java are several : Amir Ambyah, Wong Agung Menak, Jayengrana, etc. It was created in the 16th century in Kudus to help spread the teachings of Islam.

The more famous figures in wayang golek are : Umar Maya,Umar Madi, Lamdahur, etc. A book 'Serat Menak' was written by Kyai Yosodipuro I from Karaton Surakarta.

Wayang Karucil or Klitik

It is another type of wooden puppets, it's a flat wooden puppets. The topics are taken from East Java kingdoms such as Jenggala, Kediri and Majapahit. Jenggala and Kediri with the stories of Raden Panji and Cindelaras, village youngsters with his fighting cock. While Darmawulan is a hero from Majapahit, a grass cutter of the chief minister's houses who could kill a dangerous enemy of Majapahit's queen, Minakjinggo. Later he married queen Kencana and Lady Anjasmara (the chief minister's daughter) and become king of Majapahit. This is a story full with battles and love affairs.

Wayang Beber

The dalang should unroll and stretch the screen with picture of wayang. Then the dalang should tell the story to the small audience. The story could be from Mahabharata and Ramayana epics or Jenggala Kingdom.

In the old days, in the court compound, wayang beber told with the gamelan music being played, but outside Karatons it was accompanied only by a rebab (a kind of violin).

Nowadays, only a few screen of wayang beber from the old time preserved. One is in Wonosari, Yogyakarta, another is in Mangkunagaran Museum, and the third is in Pacitan.

Publicly, wayang beber is not popular, the owner of wayang beber believed that its performance is needed for protection again evil things, epidemics, etc.

(Suryo S. Negoro)

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