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KETOET GEDE, SINGARAJA, TANTRI STORY, PAPAKA AND THE MONKEYS

LOr. 3390-183

Two drawings on Dutch paper, watermark Concordia, countermark VdL., 34.3 x 42 cm

Left:
A man called Papaka roasts two small monkeys on a stick over a fire. This scene refers to a story described in the Old Javanese Tantri Kamandaka: 130, 152-158. The wicked Papaka was chased by a tiger, because he had been chasing an elephant. The female monkey Wanari helps him to escape from the tiger. She takes Papaka onto her back and carries him high up into a tree. Papaka rests there. He chases the tiger away by shooting at him. Papaka then asks the monkey to take him to the road. He wants to return to home, but he pretends not to know the way. The monkey again carries him on her back, but she takes him toher own house first so that he can rest. She is welcomed by her children, a boy called Mardawa and a girl called Mardawi. The children ask her for the fruit she has promised them. The mother excuses herself. She has not been able to collect fruit because of Papaka. She then asks Papaka to take care of the children when she goes to the mountains to collect fruit for them. Papaka feels hungry. As soon as the mother has gone, he makes a fire. He decides to roast the children and eat them. When the monkey comes back he decides to tell her that her house caught fire and that the children were burnt to death. That happens, but the mother does not believe Papaka’s story. She knows that he is a hunter and that hunters like to eat wild animals. She regards it as her duty, however, to help other people.

Right:

A female monkey collects fruit and carries them on a pole. She meets a man, Papaka, in the forest. The monkey puts her ideas of friendship into practice, even though she is almost certain that Papaka has killed her children. She gives him fruit. When he has finished eating, Papaka asks the monkey to carry him through the forest because he is afraid of the tiger. The monkey agrees to do so. It is a long trip. Papaka gets hungry. He decides to kill the monkey and eat her. He therefore holds her neck tight. The monkey complains, but the hunter finally strangles her. Her soul goes to heaven after her death.

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