From the Hindu epic story, Mahabaharata, is the character, Petruk. For hundreds if years the middle eastern cultures have been entertained or learned lessons from stories portrayed in shadow puppet shows with wayang (puppet) golek (3D wooden). This particular story is about Semar, a panakawa (brave, wise jester) who has three sons: Gerang, the eldest: Petruk, the middle and intelligent one, and Cepot, the youngest. Petruk is almost always depicted with a very long nose and the single large tooth near the front of his mouth. The puppets are made from a softer wood that can be carved into the desired features, then painted with several layers and facial features added to the last coat of paint. Under its clothing is a rod to hold the puppet and to turn his head; the rod extends from a block of wood that forms part of the body. On the back side of the block is a paper tag with “Petruk”, “Bevala” “Udel” handwritten. Udel is another name for Petruk; I don’t know what the Bevala means. There are two slim wooden rods attached to the hands to add mobility. The arms and hands are carved wood, attached with string at what would be elbow and shoulders. For something that has been played with and/or displayed for many years, it is in wonderful condition. The clothing is in wonderful condition with no rips, holes or tears; it is a bit wrinkled. His cap does have a hole in the back. There is a little bit of paint loss on the chin and neck, but that just attests to its age. The puppet measures 21 ½”” tall.
This would be such an interesting addition to a middle-eastern collection or a wonderful stand-alone decorative piece. Please contact us if you have any questions.
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Old Indonesian Carved Wooden Petruk Rod or Stick Puppet