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Rara Ireng

Rara Ireng is the daughter of Prabu Basudewa of Madura. She is the incarnation of the goddess Dewi Sri, the female counterpart to the god Hyang Wisnu.

In her maturity Rara ireng is known as Dewi Wara Sumbadra and is considered a bidadari, or celestial nymph. There is a Javanese saying (“Seketi kurang sawiji”) that the complete number of nymphs in heaven is missing one (“kurang sawiji”), i.e., Dewi Sumbadra.

She is the wife of Raden Arjuna and bears him a son, Raden Angkawijaya, who will be the continuation of the Pandawa lineage.

Rara Ireng is rather an unusual character. As a child she has quite an unattractive face and very dark skin (hence her name [ireng=black]) and sparse reddish hair. However, her appearance gradually changes and she eventually turns into a must beautiful woman. She is said not to be pretty, but when seen in a crowd of beautiful women, her personal beautystands out among the others.

Rara Ireng wears her hair in the sanggul knot. She wears waderan ear ornaments, a diadem and armbands. However, when she is older she wears only the diadem and eschews bracelets, armbands and all gold jewelry.

Publisher: Lontar Foundation;

Created: 2014

Source Rights: Purbo Asmoro

Manuscript Code: LF-Rara Ireng.ks_P5060812.jpg

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