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Dewi Banowati is the daughter of Prabu Salya of Mandraka. Banowati is an extremely beautiful woman; she is attractive not because of her clothing of golden threads and precious jewels, but because of her own pure, undecorated beauty. Her behavior suits her beauty and though her mouth may seem to indicate a scowl, it only adds to her attractiveness.
Banowati falls in love with Arjuna but is required to become the queen of Prabu Suyudana, which she does very reluctantly. Banowati’s love for Arjuna is finally legitimated after the Baratayuda, when upon the death of her husband, she marries Arjuna. Banowati’s behavior after Suyudana’s death enrages Aswatama, the son of Pandita Durna and a friend of the Kurawas, and he murders her in her sleep. Aswatama’s action serves as revenge for Banowati’s constant betrayal which had besmirched the name of the great monarch.
Banowati has jaitan eyes, a pointed nose and an upturned gaze. In accordance with her proud temperament, she gazes with eyes wide-open, and her side-long glance is particularly powerful [in Javanese, “nyambel goreng,” perhaps equivalent to the English idiom”daggers in her eyes”], and woe be to him who suffers such a glance, for it is said to pierce straight to the heart.
Banowati wears a diadem with a large garuda ornament in back. She wears the long waderan ear ornament. She wears her hair in the sanggul gede knot, which hangs just above her shoulder. She wears the ulur-ulur necklace.

(Sumber: Sejarah Wayang Purwa. Hardjowirogo. Jakarta: Perpustakaan Perguruan Kementerian P.P. dan K., 1955)

Publisher: Lontar Foundation;

Created: 2014

Source Rights: Ki Purbo Asmoro

Manuscript Code: LF-Banowati.kl_P5050692.jpg

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