Javanese shadow puppet or Wayang Kulit puppet depicting Arjuna; gilded; painted; perforated leather with split bamboo support; operating rods. This puppet depicts Arjuna, the third of the Pandawa (Pandava) brothers from the Hindu epic, The Mahabharata.
This Shadow Puppet, shown here lit from the front, was made in Java in the early twentieth century.
Shadow plays (Wayang Kulit), which may be regarded as an extremely early precursor of cinema, originated in Java and India some thousands of years ago. These thin leather puppets are intricately perforated and painted and depict figures in folklore. This puppet depicts Arjuna from the Hindu text Mahabharata. The puppets are manipulated by rodseither in deylight or in front of a translucent screen, lit from behind so that the puppet is seen in silhouette.