Thursday, August 11, 2011

a puppet maker

a puppet maker
surrounded by his creations,
lively and alive

Between the woodcarver's village of Nyuh Kuning and the Sacred Monkey Forest, there lives a little puppet maker. He looks a bit like one of the monkeys in the forest and some of his monkey puppets look a bit like him. However, unlike Jepeto, this puppet maker has already brought to life two adorable dolls. He lives in a two room house that is both shop and home. When I visit the showroom, his wife and daughters pop up like jack-in-the-box from a trapdoor in the corner of the room. He makes exquisite puppets with wooden heads, arms and legs, beautifully painted. The bodies are little squares of traditional cotton batik, with no stuffing. The resulting puppet is extremely flexible and can be arranged and made to move in many ways. I pick up one after another of the puppets, finally settling on a man with the cosmos on his head. They don't have change for my large bill, so they give me a scrub brush with a carved wooden back and a crochet hat. He says they have not made a sale all week. If he goes to the market in Ubud, the cops chase him off, and his shop is out of the way for tourists. If I don't see what I like, he can custom-make something and I can choose both the fabric and the paint color. I love his puppets and I want to give him more business, so I order cats in three different colors for my three sons. When he hears that I have three sons, he tells me with downcast eyes that the government only allows two children, so they did not get a son. Robin says she is going to write a book on how to get the gender of your choice.

No comments:

Post a Comment