Wayang Jimat (Fetish Leather Shadow Puppet) Show; the Meeting Point of Cultural and Magical Belief


Can you imagine a wayang (leather puppet) made of a real human skin? It is unbelievable, isn’t it? However, people of Ndakan, Magelang believe that one of the Wayang Jimat (Fetish Leather Shadow Puppet) that belongs to the village is made of human skin. If you want to see it, you must come to watch the show in Ndakan, Magelang.


Wayang Jimat is a set of wayang (leather shadow puppet) that belongs to people of Ndakan. This set of Wayang Jimat cannot be kept in place other than Ndakan. Wayang Jimat has to be kept by the oldest person (sespuh) of the village.

 wayang jimat showThe name Jimat itself becomes known because people of Ndakan, Magelang believe that this set of puppet has a special power. This special power actually comes from one of the puppet only which is the character of Arjuna (Janoko). This power, according to the belief, comes out because this puppet is made from a real human skin.

Based on the story, the Wayang Jimat is the present from Keraton (palace) of Surakarta. It was the present to Ki Ajar Ndakan because he had succeeded in healing the prince of Keraton Surakarta at that time. People believe that one of the characters, Arjuna, is made of a human skin. They also believe that during the process, it was washed by the water of the dead people.

Wayang Jimat has to be taken good care by the keeper.  The keeper said that he has to present sesajen (present for the spirit) in every kliwon (Javanese calendar system) on Friday. It also has to be performed at least twice a year. The keeper tells that the performance of Wayang Jimat has to be done by himself or the heir of the Wayang Jimat, which is the oldest man of the village.

Before the performance of Wayang Jimat, people have to prepare the sesajen so that the show will run well. They explain that the puppet master is possessed by spirit while he runs the performance. The interesting thing is that the puppet master does not know the story until he is done.

It will be an unusual trip during your vacation. You will watch the different type of leather shadow puppet show. Do you love photography? Relax, because you can capture the moment of the real human skin puppet come to action. It will be an interesting yet unusual experience for you.

Location and Time

The Wayang Jimat show is held in Ndakan village, Magelang. It is in the slope area of Merbabu Mountain. People of Ndakan hold the show in month of Sapar and Month of Syawal that they believe as the good months in the Javanese calendar system.


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What to See & Do

wayang jimatIf you are interested in something mystical related with culture, then the sow can be a good plan to do on your trip. You can watch the performance of Wayang Jimat for an all-night-long. You can witness the existence of puppet which is made of human skin.

Visitors Info

  • Beside the time of Month Sapar and Syawal, people of Ndakan usually hold the Wayang Jimat performance if there is someone who promises to hold it as his/her nadzar (promise of doing something if the wish comes true). So, it is better for you to search for information directly to the local people in Ndakan.

How to Get There

  • By public transportation: You can take bus to Magelang, and it is better for you to rent a car to Ndakan, because it is a quite remote area.
  • By private vehicle: If you can drive to Magelang and head to Kenalan.

Related/Nearest Places:Banyuroto, Mendut Temple, Borobudur Temple

Related/Nearest Hotels:Villa Pakem, The Cangkringan Jogja Villas & Spa, Raffles Holiday Jogja Hotel

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