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Power Plays: Wayang Golek Puppet Theater of West Java (Ohio RIS Southeast Asia Series) Paperback – November 22, 2004
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"This volume is brimming with interesting material. I know of no other study of contemporary performing arts in Indonesia that goes so deeply into the politics of meaning within such a complex genre."
About the Author
Andrew N. Weintraub, University of Pittsburgh, is a practitioner of Indonesian gamelan and martial arts and has performed in the U.S., Canada, Asia, and Europe.
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Top Customer Reviews
To me this is an ethnography in a very deep sense of the word -- the time the author spent there permeates the book and the fact that he has multiple entry points into the subject-- performance practices, structure of sound, discourses on wayang, changing policy attitudes throughout different historical moments, characters and their roles--- is something that one can only learn or perceive with a thorough understanding of the genre. The book covers the politization of entertainment, the discussion of the relation between policy and performance; the fun people have perofmring or listening to Wayang Golek and the significance of that. I also found the discussion of sound structure and changing tuning of instruments and their social signification a crucial contribution of the book.
I think this is a really good book that can stand as an excellent example of how ethnography is done in a globalized world.
which includes an interactive introduction to wayang golek
that covers wayang history, puppets, and performance practice.
The book's text focuses on the many layers of political maneuvering
that make Sundanese wayang golek such a vibrant cultural production.
The CD-ROM, with mp3 files (oops, should have been OGG/
VORBIS, I suppose), lots of photographs and video clips,
as well as an authoritative text, makes for a much more
entertaining introduction to wayang than any introductory chapter
ever could, and is worth the price of the book all by itself.
Which is not to say the book part isn't good, too -- lots
of ethnographic and biographic information and keen cultural
You can see Andrew's book's blurb at
by the way, you can take a (very limited) e-book tour of
_Gamelan: The Traditional Sounds of Indonesia_ at