Friday, March 13, 2009
shadow play (wayang kulit)
'Pak Tam' a character from a traditional shadow play or 'wayang kulit'.Pak Tam come from the string of character from the troop, 'Wayang Kulit Asun' from the north of Malaysia.(Kedah).W.K Asun is a family production that have been pass down and it is in its third generation.The 'Tok Dalang' the man behind the screen, who manipulates the puppet movemant and the narrator is the master player. The current Tok Dalang in W.K Asun is the grandson of the first master. The dialouge are usually in Malay with a Siamese slang, due to the close proximity of Asun to Thailand. This make it a very distinct style to the play.
Pak Tam is one of the comic character together with the famous 'Etong & Ekeng'. The story line from this play is a modified version of the 'Ramayana' epic but with a local twist. He usually appeared along the adventure of the hero Sri Rama and its heroin Sita Dewi. Pak Tam will always pop up here and there to add to the comical sketch with songs, usually a contemporary popular song. It is a trade that is well known with this group, in maintaining an interest to the present audience.
Wayang Kulit Asun is well loved despite the emerging of current diverse form of entertainment. W.K Asun use to perform at weddings and official function in Kedah but now, they have been performing all over the globe. A typical play can last for a couple of night depending on request.
My hope is that it will still be around for our future generation.
Above: Pak Tam or Mr Black is a cut out puppet made from a buffalo or cow hide.