A blog on the performing arts of Indonesia - performances, films and videos, meetings, noteworthy discussions and ongoing research into Indonesian performance from a transnational perspective by Matthew Isaac Cohen, Professor of International Theatre at Royal Holloway, University of London.
It has been some time since my last blog post - but this one is too good not to post on Indonesian Performance. Thumbing through Yale University Art Gallery's small collection of Indonesian manuscripts today, I ran across this illustration in a nineteenth-century wayang manuscript: an illustration of a gamelan ibu-ibu. In this double-page spread, a group of 5 women are playing kendang, rebab, peking, bells, and gong/ketuk. There is also a gender and two more saron-type instruments that have no players at them.
Illustrations of gamelan playing in manuscripts of this period are not common, let alone an all-woman group. More research is clearly needed!
Further information on the manuscript (ILE2014.8.26), which entered Yale's collection in 2014, is at https://artgallery.yale.edu/collections/objects/181348