The Ramayana

The Indian Ramayana epic, a story approximately 2,400 years old, has had a great influence on Balinese arts and culture for centuries. The Ramayana is an extensive epic ascribed to the Sanskrit poet Valmiki. Composed of 24,000 verses in seven books, the core story centers on King Rama and his quest to rescue his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana. However, many other narratives are interwoven with Rama’s story, such as the one in our play Subali-Sugriwa: Battle of the Monkey Kings which is based on Book Four of the epic. It is set in the monkey kingdom of Kiskanda, where Rama and his brother Laksmana encounter Sugriwa, and help him in his fight against his brother Subali. This in turn is a means for Rama to gain the assistance of the monkey king in his own quest to rescue his beloved Sita.

ramayanaThis Balinese painting segment depicts the episode from the Ramayana that this production is based on; it illustrates Sugriwa defeating Subali with the help of Rama.