shadow puppet

Shadow puppet depicting a 'gunungan' (mountain) or 'kayon' (forest). Made from pierced and painted hide secured to a spliced rod. Back painted with black and red pigment only. The uppermost part shows branches of the tree of heaven, the fig tree, springing from the trunk of a lotus tree which rises from the waters. There is a monster's head at the point where they join. There are some creatures in the branches of the lower tree. On the left is a banteng (wild buffalo), symbolising earth, matter and fertility, while on the right the tiger represents fire, sky and spirit. Below these is a pond or lake above a tall gated building which houses the treasures of Mount Meru and the elixir of life. The building has closed doors and can be understood as female; the tree as male. The wings on either side have kala faces. Guardians stand to either side of the stronghold.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

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