Rawhide Shadow Puppets and Dance Accessories in Bali, Indonesia

Shadow puppets (wayang kulit), made of painted water buffalo skin, have a long tradition in Bali. They're used to reenact popular stories as entertainment - and on ceremonial occasions. Shadow puppet shows are performed at night (backlit and behind a cloth) and during the day. I photographed the performance below (right) at a wedding.
Neka Museum in Ubud

Bali Museum in Denpasar

Daytime performance
Many dance accessories that imitate gold crowns and jewelry are also made of buffalo skin.

These photos were taken at the studio of I Made Jaya Jemena, Br. Puaya, Batuan, Sukawati, Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia.
 A cardboard pattern is traced onto rawhide with pencil, then holes are cut with metal tools.

Metal pieces and mirrors are attached to cut rawhide pieces that are sometimes sewn together.

 Wooden sculptures and dance accessories are first painted white, then red, then metallic gold.

Puppets are painted white, then with colorful and durable oil based paint. The profiles and holes create interesting shadows.

Traditional Painting in Bali, Indonesia  
Woodcarving in Bali, Indonesia 
Stone Carving in Bali, Indonesia 
Water Buffalo Horn Carving in Bali, Indonesia 
Terracotta Roof Tiles in Bali, Indonesia 
Batik in Java and Bali 
Ikat Weaving in Bali, Indonesia
Songket Weaving in Bali, Indonesia
Filigreee in Java, Indonesia 
Kris in Java and Bali, Indonesia 
Gamelan in Bali, Indonesia  
Mexican wood carver, Fernando Giron Pantoja 
Mexican marquetry box maker, José Antonio Rodríguez
Haida wood carver, Reg Davidson
Haida painter, James Sawyer
Polish wood carver, Jan Piotr Ledwon
Polish wood carver, Czeslaw Olma
Wood carving in Foumban, Cameroon, Africa
Abdou Mfopa of Cameroon, Africa

Recommended Guide:
Rudy (arranged through Tutut) was my fabulous bilingual guide and driver in Bali.

Web page, photographs, and text by Carol Ventura in 2007. Please look at Carol's home page to see more about crafts around the world.