Loading, please wait.


Cultural Heritage and Traditional Art of Java

By Trisna Putri Kusumawati in Culture

Nov 17, 2022

Having a love and interest in art and culture from various places around the world is endless and now Dolanesia is proud to explore a little of the charm and uniqueness of a legendary art in Java, namely the art and cultural heritage of Mbah Brambang’s paper puppets.

Legendary is a word that is very expensive not from the price but from the many values created from decades to hundreds of years that really must be preserved for new generations that will continue to come. A paper puppet (Wayang Kertas) in the hands of Mbah Brambang, who is tireless until he reaches his old age, makes paper puppets (Wayang Kertas) a very epic art in creating every artistic stroke or detailed motifs that are not easy to make, which have meaning and are very valuable, especially for local people in Indonesia, Java.

Mbah Brambang, whose real name is Merto Wiredjo, who is currently around 88 years old, still has a strong passion to become an artisan while preserving the culture and art of paper puppets since the 1960s until now from his own house in Godegan Hamlet, Mojolaban District, Sukoharho, Central Java.

The story of Mbah Brambang’s spirit that he has gone through is not easy and it really takes great determination and enthusiasm to achieve his current success as a professional Puppet craftsman. Learning from the wayang he bought and studying with the puppet experts at that time led Mbah Brambang to love the arts and culture of a wayang until now.

Wayang itself has the meaning of shadow in Javanese which is a reflection of everyday life that has useful life values and has been inaugurated as a national cultural asset and has been designated by UNESCO as a puppet show from Indonesia which is a heritage of masterpieces in many various aspects of art, contained such as the art of speech, literary arts, acting, painting, epic sculpture. Paper puppets (Wayang Kertas) function not only as a medium of entertainment and cultural heritage but can also be used as an effective medium to convey information, messages and morals to be conveyed to the public through performances.

If you come to visit Sukuharjo then come to the place of Mbah Brambang’s wayang which you can enjoy and learn during the manufacturing process while at the same time you can take it home as very authentic souvenirs, the price offered for one puppet is not too expensive around tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands depending on the size and level of difficulty.

Still in the area of ​​Central Java Island in Karanganyar, Wonosari Village, Gondongrejo District, there is one historical museum, which has high cultural value to foreign countries, namely The Brojobuwono Keris Museum. This museum was inaugurated in 2013. The kris maker in this museum is Empu Basuki Teguh Yuwono, the kris in this museum are very historic, apart from the story, the kris here are also hundreds of years old.

A keris is an heirloom that is not easily traded, the time of manufacture cannot be short and requires various rituals that must be carried out before making a keris so that the price is not cheap, it can reach up to hundreds of millions of rupiah, many things must be prepared properly such as from a horoscope Java or time that must be adjusted to fit, shape, preparation of raw materials and so on.

One keris produced has a certain value from each shape of the curve or sculpture that is created and greatly influences the origin of the area of ​​the keris that you want to make. If you want to come visit this museum, you can come from Tuesday to Sunday. The keris that is created or purchased is not used as a weapon because the keris has a high value meaning and is better used as a valuable collection for each owner.