Calon Arang

Ida Bagus Putu Jokohadi (1952–)

Date painted: 2003

Calon Arang Dance refers to the struggle between Rangda (Calon Arang) and the great king Airlangga. Calon Arang was a widow of Girah who gave birth to a daughter in the jungle. Her daughter grew up to be the famed beauty Ratna Menggali. Calon Arang wanted her daughter to marry a prince from Airlangga's palace. However, no prince came along. Infuriated by this, Calon Arang learned the art of black magic and practiced it against the kingdom, causing many people to die. When the king Airlangga heard of the epidemic in Girah, he consulted his high priest, Mpu Bharadah. The priest then sent his son to propose Ratna Menggali. Calon Arang was pleased, the curse ended, and the couple wed. Calon Arang inscribed her black magic secret on a lontar (palmleaf book). One day, her son-in-law found it and gave it to his father. When Calon Arang found out that Mpu Bharadah had learned her secrets, she was furious and declared war upon him. The priest had no choice but to fight and, in a deadly struggle, destroyed the widow by casting a spell. Before she died, Calon Arang asked forgiveness. Mpu Bharadah forgave her and showed her the way to heaven.

48 by 30 cm

Private Collection of Batuan, Singapore

Depicts: Calon Arang

photo: Ken Cheong