Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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shadow puppet depicting an African woman
  • Indonesia
  • shadow puppet depicting an African woman, early 1900s
  • Where object was made: Java or Bali, Indonesia
  • hide, paint, sinew
  • Object Height/Width: 35.5 x 15 cm
    Object Height/Width: 14 x 5 7/8 in
  • Anonymous gift
  • Not on display
  • 2012.0060

Shadow puppet made from painted hide and depicting an African woman. The puppet is made from two pieces of hide that are joined at the figure's waist with a piece of sinew. Near the figure's shoulder there is a small ring of hide that is sewn on with sinew and there is a hole in the center where a handle would have been attached. The woman's face and hands are painted a very dark brown and there is black curly hair over her forehead. Her lips are very pronounced and painted red, she has very large eyes, and there are short, curved lines on her cheek which may depict scarification. In the figure's proper left hand she carries a red parasol with a very long handle curved at the end. In her proper right hand, she carries a folding fan that is painted red and white. The figure wears a long shawl wrapped up and over her head and a long skirt that reaches down to her ankles. The clothing is painted with alternating yellow and white stripes with thin black outlines. Her shoes have short black heels and a round yellow buckle in the center.