Kaba Iniak Mudo - The Story of Iniak Mudo, the Sumatran Tiger Cub

This innovative Indonesian musical puppet show by ethnomusicologist/performer Megan Collins and master puppeteer Joko Susilo combines Javanese puppetry and Sumatran sung story-telling (kaba) traditions into an engaging show for children.

“Kaba Iniak Mudo” is a sung story about a girl called Yasmin and her encounters with a magical Sumatran tiger cub called Iniak Mudo. Megan Collins spent two years conducting research in a small hill town of Padangpanjang in Sumatra where there are many myths and art forms associated with tigers - people never say the word ‘tiger’ directly but use “grandmother” (Iniak) as a term of respect. They have a story telling music called kaba that has tiger sung poems/stories as part of the repertoire.

Megan And Tiger Shadow

Megan playing rabab pasisia in the Tiger Show at WOMAD 2012

This show was created especially for a the Auckland Zoo to celebrate the birthday of their Sumatran tiger cub in 2009. Megan Collins collaborated with Joko Susilo (a professional Javanese puppeteer resident in Dunedin) to create a show which melds Javanese and Sumatran traditions. Megan sings the narrative in English and Indonesian, while Dr Susilo manipulates the puppets. They are often joined by Bronwyn Poultney on Javanese gender and other Indonesian musical instruments are sometimes added to the shows.

At Auckland Zoo the audience of predominantly primary school children loved the 40-minute show, which was repeated three times throughout the daylong celebrations.

They have since presented the show at several local schools in Wellington, as well as in the Kidzone at WOMAD 2012.