Legendary Hanoman and Bima: Balinese painting E74206

Saving princess and other adventures

Hanoman and Bima: Balinese painting E74206A

Emma Furno © Australian Museum

This ider-ider is an example of a narrative dedicated to individual heroes from the major Hindu epics Mahabharata and Ramayana. Two main figures of this narrative are easily identified as Hanoman, the monkey general from the Ramayana and Bima, the unrefined Pandawa brother from the Mahabharata. Both are the sons of the god Beiyu.

In the first scene, Hanoman intercepts a king abducting a princess, and rescues her. While the king is holding and attempting to restrain the princess, she puts her arm around Hanoman’s neck. This leads to the fight depicted in the following scene.

Hanoman, the servants Twalen and Merdah and another knightly character, with a crab-claw headdress and demonic eyes, defeat the king and his supporters. The king flees. The knight then confronts and shoots an elephant-headed human and a tiger-headed human, both wearing crowns.

In the third scene, the elephant and tiger have reverted to animal form and go to complain to Bima, who visibly lives in a cave. In the long final scene, Bima angrily marches forth and meets Hanoman, who kicks him over. Bima then does the same to Hanoman. Their divine father Beiyu intervenes to reconcile them. Beiyu has exactly the same form as Bima except for the god-spot on his forehead.

Explanation:

An ider-ider painting in Bali is designed to be hung and attached under the eaves of a pavilion in a palace temple. It is wrapped around the outside of the pavilion and the story is normally presented in a series of scenes from left to right. Scenes may be presented in the reverse order when the painting is used for rituals associated with death, or when hung in a Pura Dalem, death temple.
 


Dr Stan Florek , Database Manager
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