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(H029)

Central Java
Patih Logender
Wayang Klitik with buffalo hide arms

425

H029

Wayang klitik were once the poor cousins of the all-buffalo-hide wayang kulit, but now, as the tradition of wayang klitik has died out, genuine wayang klitik have become collectors' items. Most wayang klitik stories are from the Panji cycle and the story of Damarwulan, the goat herder who becomes the King of Majapahit, is a particularly popular story.

This character is Patih Logender, the Prime Minister of Majapahit serving under Queen Ratu Ayu Kencanawungu, who employs Damarwulan as a stable hand. The painting on parts of this puppet is very fine, and the patina on the handle indicates that this puppet was used extensively. It was carved and painted by an expert and most probably was part of a village set. Some of the pink enamel paint of the body is peeling off and it is also missing the handle of its keris.

Wayang klitik more or less died out at the beginning of the 1900's, so this Patih Logender was probably entertaining his audience with his incompetence in the late 1800's, and was made between 1830 (end of devastating Java war) and 1890, when prosperity made buffalo hide puppets more wide spread and the clumsy wood puppets could not compete with the light and intricately carved wayang kulit.

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