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Javanese Traditional Human Puppet Troupe

Photographer: Bagus Indahono


Purwa Bharata is a Javanese traditional human puppet theater troupe also known as Wayang Wong in Javanese language. It was established in 1973 and is the only human puppet troupe left in the capital.


The troupe counts over 140 members who range in age from six to 60. They practice and perform at the Wayang Orang Purwa Bharata theater in Jakarta.


Many actors were introduced to the troupe by their parents who were former members. One actor, Daryanto Supono, 59, devoted his life to the troupe and participates as dancer and director. He is also the only member who creates costumes for the show.


The plays feature enactments of ancient Indian epic poems called the Ramayana and Mahabharata, and are always accompanied by traditional Gamelan music.


The human puppet show is held every Saturday night and a ticket costs IDR 40.000 (2,8 Euro).