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Shaddow Puppets (Wayang Kulit)
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Indonesia 

From the classical dancers to glittering palaces and haunting temples and colourful batiks, Indonesia has much to offer, with a wealth of culture beyond compare.

 

RELIGION:

On Bali you will find an estimated 20,000 temples serving the islands 3 million population, while on Java nearly every town or village has atleast one mosque. On top of that there are quite literally thousands of ceremonies, festivals or cremations as well as complex rituals that influence almost every aspect of life.

Islam is the prominent religion in Indonesia, with 87 per cnet of the population being Muslim- this makes Indonesia the largest Islamic nation. But Indonesia has other religions which flurish along side including Buddhism and Hinduism and even Christianity.

The largest concentrations of Muslims can be found in Java and on the island of Lombok, home to the Sasak people. Over in Bali you enter the world of good and evil spirits, of rain gods, rice gods and the endless cirlcle of rebirth. For more information of the religions in Indonesia look at our page on religion.

ARTS:

The finely carved temples and palaces, the intricate wooden carvings, batiks and colourful paintings- show how important the Arts are to the people of Indonesia.

Even the gamelan orchestra and the epic Ramayana dance are performed in many towns and villages through out Bali and Java.

Origionally these arts strickly adhered to religious or royal lines, but htese days they have been increasingly influenced by western artistry and have developed through individual interptration of traditional themes. The result is a mixture of colour and style which has become one of Indonesia's most celebrated gifts to the world.

 

SHADDOW PUPPETS:

Made from leather, the Wayanf Kulit or shaddow puppets, are beautifully carved by hand and painted with gilt and some times gold. These puppets are not only some of the greatest art works in Indonesia, but are alos one of the countries most beloved forms of entertainment.

Dating back more than a thousand years, these frail figures supported on posts of wood are seen as instruments of gods, the very simbols of the ages old struggle between good and evil. See our page on Shaddow puppets for more details.


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