German archaeologist studies Panji stories

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07 September 2007 (Jakarta Post) – A story reporting on a German archaeologist’s work on studying the Panji stories depicted on Javanese temples. I am personally unfamiliar with the Panji stories myself, but they seem to be indigenous to Java and seem to have spread to the Malay-speaking world. Set in Java, the Panji stories tell of Raden Inu, the king of Kuripan is betrothed to the daughter of the King of Daha. The princess disappears, and Raden Inu goes in search of his betrothed disguised as Panji, the titular character. Like the Ramayana, the Panji stories have been expressed in a number of literary and theatrical forms, although limited in transmission to the Malay-speaking world. The stories are an interesting source of information for archaeologists because they provide a peek into courtly and daily life in pre-Islamic Java; indeed the kingdoms of Kuripan and Daha (also known as Kediri) historically existed in the 12th century.

German studies ‘Panji’ stories

Lydia Kleven, an archaeologist from Koln University, Germany, said Tuesday at a seminar in Surabaya she was doing her thesis on the Panji stories of East Java.

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