ITEM 10792

Topeng Wayang Comic Mask

19th/ Very early 20th Century
Wood, pigment
9 in / 22.9 cm

This mask displays the image of Petruk, one of the sons of Samar the dwarf. He is one of the leaders of the Panakawan, fools that serve the hero, offering wisdom, help and comic relief during otherwise very serious court dramas. The Panakawan are thought to be a purely Javanese invention; they are felt to be the early animistic deities of the pre-Indic Period who were incorporated into the Hindu-Buddhist pantheon as servants to the new and stronger gods. This is a classic, early and impressive example of a sought after subject.