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.


A three-dimensional male humanoid figure puppet. Has a large head and jointed arms attached to controlling rods. Head is canted upwards. The pink face has bulging eyes with red irises, a wide triangular nose, prominent upper teeth, and red lips. Facial hair (sideburns, beard) and other details are painted in black. Hairnet is in the Javanese style in black with white detail. Neck and arms are pink with the hands held straight out. Wearing a green close-fitting jacket that has a loose collar with a plaid skirt in yellow, red, blue, green, and other colours.

History Of Use

Javanese puppetry as an art form probably developed by the 11th century. 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. A dalang (puppet master) performs the plays to celebrate important occasions, usually in three acts, with vocal and instrumental accompaniment. Typically they serve a moral and religious purpose, and more recently, one of political commentary. Puppet is undistinguished character, who might be cast in various roles as needed by the dalang, such as servant, official, or minor noble.

Cultural Context

Theatrical performance.

Iconographic Meaning

Each puppet is characterized by it's wanda, a Javanese word which describes the specific mixture of elements of size, form, colour, ornamentation and carving. Colour of face and eyes are negative features implying aggressiveness or assertiveness. Position of face and eyes is irreverent. Large facial features unrefined. Hairnet not a strictly traditional feature. Both hands held straight out is unusual; associated with resi (holy men or seers). Character not identified; the ambiguity of his features suggests that he might appear in minor roles in the service of good or evil characters.

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