Wayang Puppets

Wayang puppets come from Bali and Java in southeast Asia.  They’ve been around as a form of art and entertainment for thousands of years and they’re still vying with TV for entertainment value.  The puppets are shadow puppets, silhouettes on a stick, held up behind a white screen with a light shining on them from behind.  The stories told with the puppets are most often from Hindu Scripture, but they could be anything.


Printable Puppets

You can make your own puppets.  Print out the Wayang Puppets template.

Wayang Puppets web

Glue the template onto stiff cardboard, like from a cereal box.  Then cut it out carefully with scissors or a craft knife.  Attach a stick to the back to manipulate your puppet with.  Set up a sheet for a screen with a lamp behind it.  Make up a story to go with the figures and put on a show.

Additional Layers

  • Learn a story from the Ramayana to put on with your puppets.
  • The art of making the Wayang puppets is actually much more involved and intricate that simply cutting them out of cardboard. Learn more about how they are made.
  • Read up on different types of puppeteering and try making some other types of puppets.
  • Find Java and Bali on a map or globe.  What else can you learn about these countries?
  • Write down your puppet story in script form.
  • This printable and activity are from Layers of Learning Unit 2-14.


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