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

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