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date: 24 August 2019

Amat, Hamzah bin Awanglocked

  • Ghulam-Sarwar Yousof

Extract

(b Kelantan, Malaysia, 1940). Malaysian shadow puppeteer. From an early age he became interested in wayang kulit Siam, which is associated principally with the state of Kelantan and is the most important of Malaysia's four types of shadow play. He received his early training as a dalang (puppeteer) from his father and at the age of 11 created his own experimental wayang kulit Siam troupe with a few friends.

He later studied wayang kulit Siam with Pak Awang Lah, the most famous Kelantan dalang. After an initial lack of success, he managed to impress the international audience of scholars at the 1969 conference Traditional Drama and Music of Southeast Asia, held in Kuala Lumpur. This exposure enabled him to travel overseas. The Seri Setia Wayang Kulit troupe, with Amat as leader, visited ten European countries in 1971 under the sponsorship of UNESCO and the Malaysian Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism, giving performances in 31 cities. Aside from returning to Europe and performing in several Asian countries, Amat has also performed in Russia and Turkey (...

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