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Old 5th September 2019, 11:02 PM   #11
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 928

Alan, if you address me in the last two paragraphs, - I have diversified my attention for some time already, and posted a "Majapahit era carving where human figure is represented with some parts of it's body rendered in the lung-lungan style", something, at which you didn't look consciously until now and doubted its existence in Majapahit period.

Regarding Panakawan -

from what I did read about Panakawan until now I understand, that they are purely Javanese invention, as they doesn't exist in Indian sources, and that comic element surely was a part of character of Panakawan earlier then Raden Patah's politics. For the first time I also hear that comic Panakawan are associated only with Ramayana. Here my experience totally differs.

If we take a look to reliefs of Candi Surowono, c. 1400, the behavior of Panakawan serves as commentary to the actions of protagonist Arjuna.
Sometimes they do just the opposite of their master, for example, during Arjunas temptation they busily make love with the female servants of the nymphs. Sometimes they mimic actions of Arjuna, as in the battle scene, where they make threatening gestures at Siva.

So I am quite sceptic about your sentence "... because it seems probable that the comic nature of the wayang panakawans did not arise until wayang golek was replaced by wayang purwa in the 15th century in Demak, the replacement occurred because of Raden Patah's prohibition that applied to the wayang golek puppets.", also because of another reason.

If you really mean that, Wayang Golek is a Wayang figure style, which quite certainly even didn't exist in 15th cent., and developed in Cirebon area most probably in 17th cent.

Wayang Purwa is the classic Wayang repertoire, which consists of Jawa-Dewa, Arjuna-Sasrabau, Ramayana and Mahabrata. Other sources list Para-Dewa, Lokapala, Ramayana and Mahabarata-Baratayuda.

So Wayang Golek and Wayang Purwa belong to completely different categories, like grapes and bottles.

Regarding Tantri stories and the relief I posted - there is a story called Angling Dharma, of which the Tantri story "Language of Animals" is an introduction. Here a jewel-crowned snake princess, her father snake king appears, later a priest, father of Ambarawati, which is turned into Rakshasa. Ambarawati, arguing with her Rakshasa-father, travels in company of Panakawan.
And there is another Tantri story "Goose and Tortoise", where a goose carries two tortoises with help of a stick. The tortoises are distracted, let the stick go and fall to the ground.
Often such scenes with Panakawan are meant as comic, burlesque comments on storyline, not as part of the story itself, or even seemingly totally isolated. Perhaps Bernet Kempers saw it as a gathering of protagonists from two stories, possibly depicted on the same building.
Gustav is offline   Reply With Quote