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Madura Prau Ornament of Garuda



During the 15th century Madura converted to Islam and to this day Islam one of the defining characteristics of the Madura culture. The island of Madura lies just off the north east shore of Java, a short ferry ride from Surabaya. Madura people are renowned as skilled craftsmen, fishermen, and tradesmen who travel all over the archipelago. In the past, Madura was an independent state and because it has a court culture, it also has refined arts and crafts.

Most Maduran boats are decorated with wood carving that is stylized and geometrical and pieces like this statue prow decoration stand out as rather unusual. It appears to be a depiction of Garuda, the steed of Wisnu, and the maker appears to have been trying to portray the classical shadow puppet form of Garuda from memory.

This Garuda was collected by Thierry Durieux, straight from the boat in the early 1980's, in Madura. It is a fine example of Madura fishing boat art. It is a piece that was never intended to be "art". Rather the maker enjoyed making it to decorate his boat which he uses to make a livelihood out of the Java Sea.

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DISCLAIMER: The materials and the make dates of Asian antiques are rarely explicit on the piece. All our descriptions of use, materials, and the dates of our antiques are approximates based on our experience and knowledge. Please contact us if you have other suggestions concerning the nature and the dates of the antiques we sell. Any unsatisfactory item, if returned within 30 days, will be fully refunded excluding shipping costs.