Old Indonesian Hand-carved Leather Puppet
AGE: Unknown – this was an old puppet when we acquired it 40 years ago, estimated age late 19th to early 20th century but could be earlier.
BODY LENGTH: 47cm Excluding Rods
RODS: Buffalo horn
PRICE: AU$240.00 CONTACT:
Old Indonesian Hand-Carved Leather Puppet known as Bima with ‘pancanaka, with a long thumbnail on each hand used in a traditional form of shadow puppetry from Indonesia, especially from the island of Java. This puppet shows a long life of use, art work is faded and worn in places, damage to outer section of chasing on the head and tip of the nose and a vertical crack in the leather on the lower section of the body next to the rod. (barely visible)
The term wayang means “shadow” or “puppet” in Javanese, and Kulit means “leather” or “skin”, referring to the material used to make the puppets. Wayang Kulit is one of the oldest and most revered forms of wayang, which also includes:
- Wayang Golek (rod puppets)
- Wayang Klitik (flat wooden puppets)
- Wayang Orang (human actors).
Wayang Kulit’s history dates to the ninth century, when Central Java was ruled by the Sailendra dynasty. It is thought that Indian shadow puppetry, which Hindu traders and priests introduced to Indonesia, influenced the art form.