THE ‘RAMAYANA’ IVORY TUSK
Late 19th - early 20th century
The whole surface intricately carved in high and low relief with figures of deities and animals on a ground of flowers, the personages in different poses, some of them fighting.
Provenance: Acquired before 1975.
The Ramayana is an ancient Indian epic poem, the base of the Hindu mythology. It narrates the story of the divine prince Rama and, together, it glorifies the mighty lord Hanuman, the purity of Sita (Rama’s wife) and the abnegation of Bharat (Rama’s younger brother).
Traditionally the Ramayana is thought to have been written by Valmiki, a legendary Hindu sage who lived in a not yet specified moment between the 5th and the 1st century BCE.
One of longest ancient epic poems, the Ramayana is not only a literary work but it is considered a major source of teachings for the Indian and Sout-East Asian cultures.
The Indonesian version of the Ramayana is thought to have been written in the 9th century AD. It presents some variations respect to the original, for example in the introduction of local gods and personages.
As in India, during the centuries in Indonesia too the Ramayana had represented an unlimited source of inspiration for any kind of art, from sculpture to painting, from books illustration to decorative motifs.