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Wayang Kulit

The wayang kulit (shadow puppet, literally "leather images") tradition is one of the oldest theatrical forms, dating back to 1200 AD, and yet it still remains one of the most popular forms of performance in Bali and Java. In its traditional form, it is both entertainment and religion, using classical texts and story lines in many languages and formats to convey everything from high moral lessons to low humor.

The puppeteer sits behind a screen that is illuminated by an oil lamp, manipulating ornately carved hand-puppets and casting their shadows on the screen. Musical accompaniment is provided by a virtuoso chamber gamelan, which follows the puppeteer's every move.