'Great Epic of the Ramayana II,' wall hanging (Indonesia)


Nengah Dika recounts the epic tales of the Ramayana in this fascinating palm leaf script. Etched with delicate distinction, the palm leaf or lontar panels are framed by two hand-carved bamboo rods which in turn are connected by three sturdy filaments. A magnificent piece for a refined setting, this wall hanging is certain to enthrall those versed in the tales of the Ramayana. The classic epic tales of the Ramayana tell of Rahwana, the evil king of Alengka, who was enchanted by the beautiful Sita, Rama's wife, and wanted to have her as his concubine. He sent of his knight, Marica, to lure Sita by transforming himself into a golden deer. Sita, caught by curiosity, asked her husband to catch the golden deer. It is told that Rama succeeded in hunting the golden deer, but as his arrow drove through it, it transformed back into Marica and he cried for help. Sita heard this distant cry for help and believed it to be her husband's. Laksmana, her brother-in-law, was supposed to be looking after Sita and tried to persuade her the cries sounded very suspicious. Nevertheless, Sita was very convinced that someone was in need of help and it was Rama's voice. While Laksmana went to help Rama, Rahwana transformed himself into an old priest and kidnapped Sita. On the way to his palace, the mighty eagle Jatayu encountered Rahwana and tried to rescue Sita from the evil king, but he failed and was killed by Rahwana. Rama and Laksmana found the dying Jatayu, who told warned them of Sita's kidnapping. Thus the Ramayana continues with detailed accounts of Rama's adventures as he seeks to rescue his beloved Sita.