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A shadow puppet of a stylized figure (Duryudana character). Black face, gold body. Figure is wearing green with red and white with black-coloured clothing with an elaborate cut-out design. There are three horn handles with rivets at the joints.

History Of Use

Duryudana, is the leader of the evil Kurawa family. In the Mahabharata, Duryudana and his 99 brothers have usurped the throne and kingdom of Hastinapura from their cousins, the five Pandhawa brothers. Wayang kulit plays follow the adventures and battles between the Kurawas and the Pandhawas for Hastinapura. Ultimately, good triumphs over evil: through moral conviction and loyalty, the Pandhawa brothers win back their rightful throne. Wayang kulit shadow play is over 1000 years old. It is thought to be derived from the leather shadow puppetry traditions of southern India, like tholu bommalata, which came to Java with the spread of Hinduism in the first millennium. In Java - part of the largely Islamic Republic of Indonesia - this highly distinctive form of shadow puppetry is valued as a pusaka, a sacred treasure of the royal court of Yogyakarta. They are inspired by the Indian epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, as well as stories of the history and folklore of Java, with a local spin. The plays are performed to mark special occasions such as birthdays, marriages, and religious events. Wayang shadow puppetry was inscribed on UNESCO's List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2008. (from Shadow, Strings & Other Things, 2019).

Item History

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