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Madura Wall Panel of Baladewa



Baladewa is the older brother of Kresna the avatar of Wisnu in the Mahabharata. He is the king of Mandura and has a hot temper and is never depicted as a hero except in Madura. Madura audiences get angry if a puppet master plays Baladewa in an unsympathetic light. He owns a sacred and magical plough which is very powerful and can destroy the universe so he has to be diplomatically contained by his brother Kresna all the time. Before the great battle of Bharatayudha, Kresna tricked Baladewa into retiring as a hermit in meditation behind the waterfalls of Grojogansewu.

Baladewa taught both Bima of the Pandawa brothers and Suyudana of the Kurawa brothers the martial arts of the club and when they were both to meet in a duel to death no one emerged a victor until Kresna advised Bima to hit Suyudana's thigh against the warrior code of battle. While in Java Baladewa symbolizes the powerful man who has less brains than power in Madura he symbolizes the truthful man who always gets swindled but stays truthful even when unpopular.

This panel is carved from a piece of teak measuring approximately 37x27cm and is painted in enamel. It is a set of two, the other panel being the panel of Hanuman the white monkey (item F056).

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