Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

shadow puppet depicting soldiers
  • Indonesia
  • shadow puppet depicting soldiers, early 1900s
  • Where object was made: Java or Bali, Indonesia
  • hide, paint
  • Object Height/Width: 38 x 54 cm
    Object Height/Width: 14 15/16 x 21 1/4 in
  • Anonymous gift
  • Not on display
  • 2012.0058

Shadow puppet made from painted hide that depicts a large group of soldiers who appear to be inside the walls of a fort. There are three rows of figures, identified as soldiers, that stretch horizontally across the puppet. Each figure has a red colored face with a long nose, large ears, large eyes and pronounced black eyebrows. The bottom row shows 11 full body figures. Each figure wears a black hat with a gold band, a long black coat, and brown pants. At the bottom facing left corner there is a soldier who is kneeling next to a black cannon with a brown wheel. The third figure from the facing right side is turned to face the viewer directly with both face and shoulders turned outward. All of the other figures are seen in profile. Almost all of the figures in the row are holding a black rifle with a bayonet at the top. The middle row of soldiers is only seen from the waist up and there are 9 figures. Each one wears a dark brown coat and a black hat with a gold band. Most of them are also holding a long curved black sword. The top row of soldiers has 8 figures and they are also only seen from the waist up. Each of them wears a light tan colored coat and a black hat with gold band. Most of them are also carrying long black, curved swords. On the facing left and top edges there are wide rows of long, thin red strips that have short black triangles at the tops. Along the top edge there are also long, wavy, triangular flags that stretch between flag poles. The back of the puppet is only partially painted.