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One of some kinds of wayang in East Java is Wayang Beber – they have
nearly vanished. The most popular of all forms is Wayang Beber Pacitan.
This kind of wayang is neither made of wood not leather but paintings
drawn on a scrolled sheets of bark paper. Every scene in the story is
painted on a piece of paper in rotation.
Since when this kind of wayang has been found in Pacitan exactly is
not known yet, nevertheless the age of the existing wayang Beber has
reached an age of 12 generations up to the present.
The performer (Dalang) gives a sign, the gamelan orchestra (or a
musician with a violin-like instrument) begins to play and the Dalang
unrolls a picture related to the story. Then, speaking and singing, he
narrates the story in more detail. In this manner, in the course of the
evening he unrolls several pictures. The pictures are shown one at a
time and are successively unrolled. Each picture represents a story or
part of a story. The story narrated is taken from the life of Panji or a
story based on the mythical Javanese Jenggala Kingdom, or the
Mahabharata and Ramayana epics. The fiction of wayang Beber performance
is not only an entertainment but also as media of education, which
principally a crime finally is defeated by virtue.
There are some scrolls owned by some families which are not used for a
performance, however in certain months every year they are used as
traditional ceremony by cleaning off the magic power in those objects.