The origin of Indonesian mythology can be traced back to the earliest development of Indonesian kingdom predominantly called the Javanese Empire. Fossil evidence suggests the Indonesian archipelago was inhabited by Homo erectus, popularly known as the "Java Man". Estimates of its existence range from 500,000 to 2 million years ago. The Austronesian people who form the majority of today's population, migrated to South East Asia from Taiwan and first arrived in Indonesia around 2,000 BCE, pushing an existing population of Melanesian people to the far eastern regions as they expanded. Ideal agricultural conditions and the mastering of wet-field rice cultivation as early as the eighth century BCE. allowed villages, towns, and eventually small kingdoms to flourish by the first century CE. The region established trade between both India and China several centuries BCE. Fostered by Indonesia's strategic sea-lane position, trade continued to be one of the most important influences on the country's history.
It was upon this trade, and the Hinduism and Buddhism that was brought with it, that the Srivijaya kingdom flourished from the seventh century CE. It became a powerful naval state, growing wealthy on the international trade it controlled through the region until its decline in the twelfth century. During the eighth and tenth centuries CE, the agriculturally-based Buddhist Sailendra and Hindu Mataram dynasties thrived and declined in inland Java, building grand religious monuments such as Sailendra's Borobudur and Mataram's Prambanan. The Hindu Majapahit kingdom was founded in East Java in the late thirteenth century, and under its mid fourteenth century military commander, Gajah Mada, its influence stretched over much of modern day Indonesia. This period is often referred to as a "Golden Age" of Indonesian history.
Within this Hindu and Buddhist empire they adapted the cultural value of both civilizations. The Mahabaratha and Ramayana Epic were widely use in tradition as well as art. This dynamic culture has made the Javanese a modern society in that day and the entire aspect of their life focuses on Hinduism and Buddhism separately and mutual. This can be seen in art as popular culture.
The rise of Hindus mythology gain large support from the courtesan as well as the indigenous people and they manage to relate it into their own life. Gradually the story depicted in the Epic turned in Javanses version of mythology and folklore with nearly 100% adaptation from the original scripture. Story such as the Pandawas is the main example how Hindu had played a vital role in Indonesian society up until now.
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