Make Your Own Wayang

Wayang is a traditional kind of Indonesian theatre, originating in Java. There are many forms of wayang performance, but the most famous uses wayang kulit (shadow puppets) controlled by a dalang (master puppeteer). The word ‘wayang’ means ‘shadow’ in Javanese, while ‘kulit’, meaning ‘skin’, refers to the puppets’ traditional leather construction.

There are many different wayang characters. The one we’ll make here is called Arjuna, who is considered a great archer and warrior. To get started, go to www.agencyfish.com/wayang to download the materials list and Arjuna outline.

Step 1

Print outline on regular printer paper, glue onto your cardstock and carefully cut out.

Step 2

Colour in details using your choice of crayons, paint or markers.

Step 3

Punch holes through green details on outline and attach arms and legs using paper fasteners.

Step 4

Ask an adult to help you cut out red details on outline to let light shine through your puppet. Add a few more if you like!

Step 5

Add decorations of your choice. A gold or silver doily makes for a great accent.

Step 6

Attach chopsticks or popsicle sticks to arms and legs for movement, and to the body for support.

Step 7

Hang up a sheet and put on a show!