AGE: – Early 20th Century – possibly earlier
CONSTRUCTION: – Wood, real hair, batik Textile
DESCRIPTION: – Indonesian Waying Golek Wooden Rod Puppet
HEIGHT: – 62cm
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Indonesian Waying Golek Wooden Rod Puppet with genuine human hair and hand painted detailed face, dressed in the traditional Indonesian costume batik sarong and kebaya (fitted top).
This type of puppet as opposed to the Waying Kulit type (carved leather hide) are controlled from below by one central rod running through the centre of the puppet and separate rods controlling each of the arms.
Although puppet shows have been a popular form of entertainment throughout Indonesia it is thought that they may have been introduced from India or by Chinese Muslims who played a part in converting the Javanese to Islam. Considering that many of these puppet shows are based on the epic Indian love story from the Ramayana and Mahabharata, it more than likely was introduced through trade with India during early Hindu-Buddhist times between 800 AD 1500 AD.
The Balinese who are still predominantly Hindu believe it was introduced by refugees from Majapahit, during the last Hindu-Buddhist kingdom in Java when it fell around 1520 AD, and prior to the introduction of Islam. However the Javanese believe it was introduced by the wali, nine saints who introduced Islam to Java.
Whilst the wooden rod puppets were used mainly in Islamic tales the intricately carves leather hide puppets were used in Hindu based storytelling.