Wayan Kulit Gong

Origin: Indonesia

This beautiful gong dates back to the mid 1800's and is a prized instrument that was used as part of the famous Wayang Kulit, a highly coveted puppetry event held in Indonesia. Shadow puppetry has been popular in various parts of the world, including China, India, and Turkey, but it has reached an extraordinary level in Java. It is usually performed in an eight to nine hour performance that goes all night.

Wayang kulit combines deep spiritual meaning, entertaining storytelling, extraordinary musicality (both in the gamelan and vocals), deep philosophical messages, current political commentary, and bawdy humor. Javanese shadow puppetry involves distinctive puppets that are art works in themselves. The gamelan orchestra is comprised of between 20 and 40 musicians and is made up of bronze instruments — gongs, metalaphones, strings, and vocals. It is one of the great art forms as it combines ancient stories, mystical mantras, and topical commentary.

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