Betawi Shadow Puppets (Wayang Kulit Betawi)

According to some sources, Betawi Shadow Puppets (Wayang Kulit Betawi) is related to the attack of Batavia by the Sultan Agung’s army of Mataram (Central Java). The event occurred when Batavia was led by Governor General Jan Pieterzoon Coen.

Although Betawi Shadow Puppets comes from the Purwa Shadow Puppets, in practice it has shown its own peculiarities. Namely the stories are adjusted to the situation and condition of Betawi community, which is dynamic and egalitarian. Stories adapted to Betawi local condition are a more dominant element in the show. Therefore, the Betawi Shadow Puppets is more populist, simple, innocent, and emphasize intimacy with the audiences.

Until the 1920s the music that accompanied Betawi Shadow Puppets was called Gamelan Ajeng. Gamelan Ajeng musical instruments consist of: rebab, trumpet, two sarons, gedemung, kromong, kecrek, gendang, kempul, and goong.