Wayang kulit is just one of several types of performance art cultivated in Indonesia. The word "wayang" means theater and often refers to shadow puppetry, but several other forms exist. Below are descriptions of wayang: kulit | klithik | golek | beber | topeng | wong


Kulit
Wayang kulit is perhaps the most ancient puppetry art in SE Asia. Stories drawn from the ancient Indian vedas, Mahabaharata and Ramayana, the flat, leather puppets worked well as a portable medium to instruct, entertain, prophesize and perform religious-magical functions for disperate audiences throughout the land.
   
Klithik
Wayang klitik (or "kayu") developed in Western Java for reasons I don't know. The puppets are two-dimensional carved and painted wood with hinged limbs. They operate as shadow puppets. Mostly sold as tourist items.
   
Golek
Wayang golek
are three dimensional rod puppets from Western Java and Sumatra. They perform on a precenium stage lit from the front. Operationally, the head sits atop a rod through the body and turns freely. The arms are affixed to dowels and hinged in two or three places for maximum movement.
Wayang golek
are three dimensional rod puppets from Western Java and Sumatra. They perform on a precenium stage lit from the front. Operationally, the head sits atop a rod through the body and turns freely. The arms are affixed to dowels and hinged in two or three places for maximum movement.
   

Beber
Wayang beber is a lesser known wayang medium featuring a large scrolling painted backdrop against which the dalang spun his tales. As the story progressed, so the spidles would be turned to reveal new scenary. No puppets were used, though the paintings featured stylized characters modeled after kulit puppets.

   
Topeng
Wayang topeng is masked dance. Stylized movements seek to imitate those of shadow puppets. Dances are solo and express the senitments and predicaments of well-known kings, gods, and mortals.
   

Wong
Wayang wong (or "orang") is a theatrical retelling of the epic tales, and includes the Panji stories. Actors enact meetings, battles, quests, dressed in emaculate costumes. Their movements are derived from topeng dance and stylized shadow puppetry and maintain a 2-dimensionality.