Item Records

This page shows all the information we have about this item. Both the institution that physically holds this item, and RRN members have contributed the knowledge on this page. You’re looking at the item record provided by the holding institution. If you scroll further down the page, you’ll see the information from RRN members, and can share your own knowledge too.

The RRN processes the information it receives from each institution to make it more readable and easier to search. If you’re doing in-depth research on this item, be sure to take a look at the Data Source tab to see the information exactly as it was provided by the institution.

These records are easy to share because each has a unique web address. You can copy and paste the location from your browser’s address bar into an email, word document, or chat message to share this item with others.

  • Data
  • Data Source

This information was automatically generated from data provided by MOA: University of British Columbia. It has been standardized to aid in finding and grouping information within the RRN. Accuracy and meaning should be verified from the Data Source tab.


Three-dimensional male humanoid puppet: large head (part b) fits into body with skirt (part a), and a control rod (part c) with a long shaft that passes through the body and fits into the neck of the figure's head. The body has jointed arms, each with a long controlling rod attached. Face pale pink, mouth closed, thin red lips, small black moustache, almond shaped narrow eyes, thin and sharply pointed nose. Wearing turban with peak in front, in pale green, red, blue, and beige trim. Two slots on either side of turban at back. Wears cotton red skirt, long red sleeves, black cotton red skirt, black cotton tunic extending into apron. Decorated with coloured sequins, gold braid and fringe. Upper arms braided. Lower arms wood with hands at right angles to arms. Left arm has carved green bracelet. Hole in palm but no controlling stick attached. Right hand has hole in palm with string attaching stick. Head can be moved through 360 degrees.

History Of Use

Javanese puppetry as an art form probably developed by the 11th century. The three-dimensional wooden wayang golek puppets of western Java appeared during the 16th century. Originally the plays depicted Javanese mythology, but after the Indian conquest of Java the Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, were incorporated into the cycles, which comprise about 200 plays. An individual or group hires a dalang (puppet-master) to celebrate important occasions. The performances often last all night and are generally presented in three acts, with vocal and instrumental accompaniment. The individual plays vary widely in detail but usually involve conflict between good and evil. They serve a moral and religious purpose, and more recently, one of political commentary. Each puppet's character is represented by its appearance and placement onstage; protagonists with strong elements of good are placed to the right, antagonists of violent or evil nature to the left. Citrasena would appear to the right of the stage as part of the good entourage. He is an honourable and friendly character, common to most puppet sets.

Iconographic Meaning

Pink face, small nose, almond shaped eyes, attitude of hands, and elaborate headdress are characteristic of a noble and honourable player, Citrasena. The fine features indicate his refined nature; the rich clothing and headdress reflect his high position.

Cultural Context

Theatrical performance.

Item History

With an account, you can ask other users a question about this item. Request an Account

With an account, you can submit information about this item and have it visible to all users and institutions on the RRN. Request an Account

Similar Items