Figures Punakawan


1. Punakawan is a unique type of character in Indonesian shadow theatre. They generally represent the commoners. The characters of Punakawan indicate various roles, such as the warrior advisors, the entertainers, social critics, and clowns, a further source of truth and wisdom. In Javanese wayang, the punakawan characters consist of Semar, Gareng, Bagong, and Petruk. In Balinese wayang in the other hand, the character consist of Malen and Merdah (the maids of Pandawa) and Delem and Sangut (the maids of Kurawa)

2. Semar is the care-giver of Pandawa. His name is also Hyang Ismaya. Even though his appearance is so ugly, he has a supernatural ability that is greater than the gods'.


3. Gareng is one of Semar's sons which means he is revered. Nalagareng cannot speak well; furthermore, whatever he says can be totally wrong. However, he is a very funny and hilarious man. He has been a king of Paranggumiwang and has a name Pandubergola. He was elected to be a king in the name of Dewi Sumbadra. He is so powerful and can only be defeated by Petruk.


4. Bagong means shadow of Semar. When Semar was sent to the earth, the gods stated that his shadow became his friend. Suddenly, his shadow was transformed to be Bagong. Bagong has unique personality: he is assertive and like to pretend to be stupid. He is also so funny.


5. Petruk is Semar's son with the sweet face and smile. He is a smart speaker and a funny man. He likes to ridicule atrocity with his comedy. Petruk has been a king at the state of Ngrancang Kencana and is named Helgeduelbek. In one story, he took the Kalimasada amulet. Nobody can defeat him except Gareng.