Awang batil is a traditional form of musical storytelling found in the state of Perlis in Malaysia.
The awang batil is a solo performer who narrates his stories as he beats the batil, a brass bowl or belanga, a pot commonly used to store water. The storyteller also plays other instruments such as the violin, serunai, rebana and gendang terinai.
During the narration, the storyteller uses two masks, the Hulubalang mask and the Wak Nujum mask, when suitable characters appear in the stories to attract the audiences’ attention.
The most commonly told stories of the awang batil are Raja Dewa Lok, Raja Bersiung, Raja Berdarah Putih, Anak Lang Pak Belang, Jabat Jabit, Abu Nawas, Cerita Angan-Angan and Awang Ada Duit Semua Jadi.
The awang batil performances are usually held at weddings and evening festivities and will often continue till dawn, with some performances going on for two to five days. These longer stories are usually told when someone has personally invited the awang batil to his home, typically after the rice harvest season.