JOGJAKARTA (KU) - Purwo leather puppet performance in Surakarta-style presented by young puppeteers needs to be developed further in order to preserve this traditional culture. As a medium of learning, plays being performed by those children are selected from among plays that describe children's life or fantasy.
“As a medium to appreciate arts, the learning of leather puppet needs to be introduced at an early age to make the children understand this typical art. Along this time, children have not been given enough room for leather puppet learning,” said Junaidi S. Ker, M. Hum in an open examination for his doctoral degree at the UGM graduate School on Friday (27/8) afternoon.
Junaidi's research showed that the performance of Surakarta-style purwo leather puppet is presented by adults. In its development, it is also played by children that led to the emergence of a different format for children. “The structure of the play is composed as a separate format, which is a short duration of 30-45 minute with fewer and shorter scenes,” said the lecturer from the Institut Seni Indonesia (ISI) Yogyakarta.
Junaidi added that all performers should be children, including the puppeter, musicians and singers while the puppets, equipment and stage arrangement are adjusted specially for children. “Encouragement, support, and opportunity provided by adults are much needed in this matter,” he added.
According to Junaidi, there are 18 plays that can be performed by child puppeteers, including Sena Bumbu, Anoman Dhuta and Gathutkaca Jedhi while paten, raben and kraman plays do not suit their level of intelligence, emotion and fantasy.
Prof. Dr. Timbul, chairman of promotor team, said that the learning of Surakarta-style leather puppet show among children can be beneficial to preserve the nation's cultural form that has been acknowledged by the UNESCO. “We need to prioritize the local culture amidst the incoming external cultures,” he said.