Puppeteer of Wayang Timplong, Suyadi, in Kepanjen Village, Pace Sub-district, Nganjuk with UNAIR students. (Photo: Documentation of PKMSH FISIP)
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UNAIR NEWS – Wayang Timplong is one of dozens of types of wayang that “live” in arts scene in the archipelago. The special puppet show from Nganjuk is very unique. The puppet’s body is made of sculptured wood, while its hands are made of leather. Stories played revolve around the history of Java. This is different from the wayang Purwa which generally tells the story of Mahabharata or Ramayana.

But unfortunately, this wooden puppet show from Nganjuk regency is now not very popular as in the era of the 1990s. It is eroded by the glitter of the modern entertainment world. This fact intrigued five Universitas Airlangga FISIP students to conduct research in the Humanity Creativity Program (PKM-SH).

The five FISIP students are Julia Permata Maulidhia, Hanavia Ria Pratiwi, Widya Ayu Kartikasari, Rizal Gunawan and Nur Alif Nugroho. They conveyed their idea into the PKM-SH proposal entitled “The Existence of Wayang Timplong as Effort to Preserve Local Culture in Kepanjen Village, Pace Sub-district, Nganjuk Regency.” This proposal successfully passed the assessment of Kemenritekdikti 2016 and got funding.

PKM-SH team Interview with the Tourism, Youth, Sports, and Culture Agency Nganjuk Regency. (Photo: Documentation PKMSH FISIP)

Like the other wayang puppets, Timplong puppets are also tools to socialize the values ​​that exist in society through the stories shown. Unfortunately, there is rarely a show, even many teenagers have never heard the name of wayang timplong.

“The Timplong puppet show is currently only shown in an occasional traditional village events. It also takes place in some villages and only popular among the old people, “said Julia Permata Maulidhia, head of of this PKM-SH Team.

The FISIP student team also conducted interview with Mr. Suyadi, puppeteer of Timplong in Kepanjen Village, Pace Sub-district, Nganjuk Regency, also with the Tourism, Youth, Sports, and Culture Agency of Nganjuk.

As the show is no longer popular, the number of puppeteers is not many. The remaining puppeteers are elderlies. From these circumstances, it is concluded that  wayang Timplong needs future generation supports to continue and preserve.

Unique Timplong puppet form Nganjuk. (Photo: Documentation of PKMSH FISIP)

During this time, added Julia, the successor of the puppeteer is limited only to the scope of lineage, it is believed that this even makes the puppeteers difficult in finding his successor. Public interest and the role of government will contribute to the sustainability of this unique wooden puppet from Nganjuk.

“If it is developed by the government, for example, with the interest of the community, wayang Timplong can be a learning medium in formal education, because the stories can provide character education for children and adolescents,” said Julia Permata.

It can also be developed into the creative industries, namely the tourism industry where a local culture is developed and promoted as an icon of an area. If such efforts succeeds, it will be able to give added value for the sustainability of the arts itself and for the region. (*)

Editor: Bambang Bes

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