Image: Javanese Puppet E22165

Javanese Puppet E22165

Puppet of wayang kulit - shadow-play from Malang, East Java, Indonesia.

Finton Mahony
© Australian Museum


The puppet is Gadog – a character from Javanese mythology, who frequently appears in wayang shadow plays. Gadog is complex figure. Superficially he is one of the punokawan (clowns), but in fact he is divine and very wise - he is the dhanyang (guardian spirit) of Java, and is regarded by some as the most sacred figure of the kotak (wayang set). He is said to be the god Sang Hyang Ismaya in human form.

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