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Hanuman (Hanoman), monkey hero of the Ramayana
Place of Origin: Indonesia, Tegal, Central Java
Date: perhaps 1800-1900
Object Name: wayang golek puppet
Materials: Wood, cloth and mixed media
Dimensions: H. 26 1/2 in x W. 8 1/2 in x D. 2 5/8 in, H. 67.3 cm x W. 21.6 cm x D. 48.9 cm
Credit Line: From The Mimi and John Herbert Collection
Department: Southeast Asian Art
Collection: Theatrical Arts
Object Number: F2000.85.10
On Display: No

Description

Label: Characters from the Epic Ramayana 

The plays of Indonesian puppet theater (wayang) are largely derived from two Indian epics, the Ramayana (Epic of Rama) and the Mahabharata (Great Chronicle of the Bharata Dynasty). In both the Indian and the Indonesian version of the story, Rama, the seventh incarnation of the Hindu deity Vishnu, descends to earth to protect it from the demon Ravana. The story revolves around Ravana's kidnapping of Rama's wife, Sita, and the efforts of Rama and his monkey army to retrieve her.

Rama is exiled and leaves his realm with his wife and his brother Lakshmana to live in the forest. The female demon Shurpanakha, Ravana's sister, learns of their presence and tries to seduce both Rama and Lakshmana. After being rejected, Shurpanakha tells Ravana of Sita's whereabouts, and he plans to kidnap her. Using a golden deer, Ravana lures Rama and Lakshmana away from Sita. Then, disguised as a beggar, Ravana approaches Sita. Although she is protected by a magic circle, she reaches outside it and Ravana snatches her up. On the back of his birdlike mount Wilmana, Ravana flies with Sita to his island of Lanka. The heroic bird Jatayus, an ally of Rama, witnesses the abduction and tries to save Sita, but is fatally wounded.

From the dying Jatayus, Rama learns of the Sita's abduction to Lanka. He eventually enlists the aid of a monkey army to help him find his wife. Led by the heroic white monkey Hanuman, the army builds a causeway to the island. Rama and his monkey troops meet Ravana and his armies. The monkeys must battle Ravana's brother (Kumbhakarna, a giant) and son (Indrajita), before Ravana himself is finally killed.
Label: Characters from the Epic Ramayana 

The plays of Indonesian puppet theater (wayang) are largely derived from two Indian epics, the Ramayana (Epic of Rama) and the Mahabharata (Great Chronicle of the Bharata Dynasty). In both the Indian and the Indonesian version of the story, Rama, the seventh incarnation of the Hindu deity Vishnu, descends to earth to protect it from the demon Ravana. The story revolves around Ravana's kidnapping of Rama's wife, Sita, and the efforts of Rama and his monkey army to retrieve her.

Rama is exiled and leaves his realm with his wife and his brother Lakshmana to live in the forest. The female demon Shurpanakha, Ravana's sister, learns of their presence and tries to seduce both Rama and Lakshmana. After being rejected, Shurpanakha tells Ravana of Sita's whereabouts, and he plans to kidnap her. Using a golden deer, Ravana lures Rama and Lakshmana away from Sita. Then, disguised as a beggar, Ravana approaches Sita. Although she is protected by a magic circle, she reaches outside it and Ravana snatches her up. On the back of his birdlike mount Wilmana, Ravana flies with Sita to his island of Lanka. The heroic bird Jatayus, an ally of Rama, witnesses the abduction and tries to save Sita, but is fatally wounded.

From the dying Jatayus, Rama learns of the Sita's abduction to Lanka. He eventually enlists the aid of a monkey army to help him find his wife. Led by the heroic white monkey Hanuman, the army builds a causeway to the island. Rama and his monkey troops meet Ravana and his armies. The monkeys must battle Ravana's brother (Kumbhakarna, a giant) and son (Indrajita), before Ravana himself is finally killed.