Puppet Show on Kilimanjaro’s Peak

  • Students of Yogyakarta Muhammadiyah University (UMY) showed the puppets on the Summit of Kilimanjaro, Tazmania, Wednesday (03/29/2017). (foto : document)

Students from Yogyakarta Muhammadiyah University’s (UMY) expedition team managed to set foot on a Kilimanjaro peak at an altitude of 5,895 meters above sea level. The team, which consisted of Ihsanul Hakim, Nauval Hakim, Muhammad Badruddin, Aji Wahyudi, and Mohammad Fadli, staged a puppet show there.

‘The performance was recorded as the Indonesian Record Museum (MURI) as the highest shadow puppet show ever,’ said Saigunsi Bonita Arimi, the expedition’s public relations officer.

Puppetry is a traditional Indonesian art that developed in Java. It comes from the word ‘Ma Hyang’ meaning ‘towards the spirit’, or God. Shadow puppets are handled by a puppeteer who is also narrating the dialogue. Typically, puppet performances are done to the accompaniment of gamelan music played by a group of niyaga and songs sung by the sinden.

In order to understand the story of puppetry, the audience needs to know its characters. Puppetry took its stories from the Mahabharata and Ramayana manuscripts. A puppet show has been recognised by UNESCO in 2003 in the field of Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

‘Tim also did research on the Chagga tribe who live in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro,’  Arimi added. ‘Research results will be exhibited at the campus UMY, mid-April 2017.’

The Mount Kilimanjaro expedition is the third expedition undertaken by UMY. There are seven mountains to be conquered by nature lovers at UMY. Previously, UMY reached the Carstensz peak in 1999 and the Elbrus peak in 2014.