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Jakarta Post

Carvings tell story of ancient female solidarity

  • Retno K. Djojo


East Java   /   Fri, June 26 2009   /  01:08 pm

Whatever the era or situation, women's issues have always cropped up, and the relief panels at Candi Tegowangi, in Pare, Kediri, are testimony that in East Java also, issues concerning the fate of woman were not swept under the carpet. Instead, they are made overt, portrayed on the temple's walls for subsequent generations to learn from the past and prevent problems from recurring. The beautifully sculpted relief panels at Tegowangi also show that female solidarity in defending their cause was a force to be reckoned with. It was someone no less than Prince Sadewa, one of the Pandawa brothers in the Mahabharata Hindu epic, who had a rude awakening to the presence of female solidarity when he was literally dragged by his mother, Goddess Kunti, to address the case of Goddess Durga. Though initially reluctant on being taken to face the hideous Goddess Durga and her ogres...