Shadow puppet, Hanoman

This puppet represents the character Hanoman in the Javanese 'wayang kulit' or leather shadow puppet theatre tradition. He is the white monkey in the Hindu epic, the Ramayana. He is an ally of Rama in the rescue of his wife, Dewi Sinta (Sita) and one of the most famous characters.The Ramayana relates the struggle of Rama and his brother Lesmana (Lakshamana) in their attempt to rescue his wife, Dewi Sinta, from the ogre king Rahwana (Ravana).The vast majority of the 'wayang' plays performed are drawn from the two great Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata as well as local stories of Javanese origin. 'Wayang kulit' is considered the highest of the Javanese performing arts. Performed in the royal courts of Java as early as the ninth century, this tradition continues to be treasured as one of the 'pusaka' or sacred heirlooms of the court. 'Wayang kulit' is traditionally performed on ritual days and religious ceremonies. It has also been adapted more recently for television and public education campaigns.

Indigenous Name
wayang kulit, Hanuman
20th century
Java, Indonesia
Object size: 74 x 45 cm
Accession No.
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Theatre Artefacts

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