Look! I Found This Mahabharata Family in Playing Cards


Last Sunday, I went to Malioboro the famous shopping area in Yogyakarta. My friend and I went to Beringharjo traditional market to look for dancing properties. After looking around, we didn’t find the dancing properties that we really want. Then I said to my friend that I want to look for postcards and some staff in a shop around Malioboro. So we went there. We have enjoyed looking around for the staff as there are many souvenirs there. We love it! I found this playing cards. Well, actually I knew this for few years ago but I never bought it. Now I bought it, so I can play with it and tell you about it. 🙂



The interesting part of this playing cards is that I saw one of the mahabharata figures on it. I’m sure there must be some other figures in it. There is also a booklet in it. Don’t worry, I will show you one by one for the figures that I found in the playing cards.

Arjuna, one of Pandawa brothers
Subadra, Arjuna’s wife and the beloved sister of Krisna
Abimanyu, Arjuna’s son

I hope you have heard about the story of Mahabharata, it is original from India and then it’s used for the Muslim teacher to spread Muslim religion by entertaining them with the shadow puppet show stories. That’s interesting because there are thousand valuable lessons that we can learn from the story.

Pandu Dewanata
Pandu Dewanata, Pandawa’s dad
Kunti, Pandawa’s mom
Yudhistira, the first Pandawa

Pandawa brothers are consisted of five persons; Yudhistira, Bima, Arjuna, The Twin (Nakula and Sadewa). They’re the positive side.

Duryudhana, the cruel prince and Kurawa family
Banowati, Duryudhana’s wife
Lesmana Mandrakumara, the only one son of Duryudhana

The other side, there is Kurawa family that is consisted of 100 brothers including Duryudhana as the first son. They’re cruel and love cheating.

Dhestrarata, The King for Hastinapura and Duryudhana’s (Kurawa’s) dad


Dursasana, the beloved brother of Duryudhana

King Dhestrarata is the younger brother of King Pandu Dewanata, because of Pandu died then Dhestrarata becomes a king. Between Pandawa and Kurawa wants to be the main prince. It should be Yudhistira because he is the son of Pandu who is the first son and older than Dhestrarata. But, Duryudhana really wants to be the main prince because he thinks that he is deserved for that and his father is the king.

Gunungan, the symbol of universe
Petruk, one of Punokawan members and nanny for Pandawa

This is the additional part in this story. The Muslim teacher made the Gunungan as the symbol where the life come from and it’s also symbol of universe. Usually, in Javanese Shadow Puppet, you will see the animal, and trees in it which represent of animal and trees in the world. Then, there is Punokawan consists of 4 members; Semar, Bagong, Gareng, and Petruk. They always appear as funny part in Shadow puppet show but they always have good advice. They’re teacher, nannies, and advisor for Pandawa.

Okay, that’s all a little bit story about Mahabharata from Java, Indonesia. You can watch how is the shadow puppet show looks like in this video link from UNESCO.



Add yours →

  1. Wow… Mahabharata in the cards! It’s interesting to know that Mahabharata is interpreted by a Muslim teacher by adding his own characters.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s cool! I think my dad knows about This and there’s even some shows made on Mahabharata!? Cool stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. These are great! I really must learn the names of all my shadow puppets.

    Liked by 1 person

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