The masks are created to house spirits and energies and are used in rituals or ceremonies as a medium for ancestral spirits to pass back over to this world. It’s somewhat similar to the Mexican beliefs for the Day of the Dead celebrations.
What are Indonesian masks used for?
Indonesian Masks come in a variety of different forms. The aim of these masks is to scare off evil spirits, to connect with ancestors, cure sickness and to prevent natural disasters like floods, famine and drought. . There are different forms of these masks in different parts of Indonesia.
When did Balinese masks start?
Modern styles arose to appeal to tourists, who were beginning to come to Bali in the 1930s.
Are all Indonesian masks the same?
Balinese masks come in all shapes and sizes with everything from human faces to animal figures. While each Balinese mask is individually designed, some styles are used regularly to portray emotions such as angriness, calmness or being in love.
What is topeng made of?
In all parts of Java the topeng masks share the aesthetics based on the iconography of the wayang kulit and particularly wayang golek puppets. Carved out of wood they also resemble, however, the faces of the three-dimensional wayang golek puppets.
Where in Indonesia can you find traditional masks?
But the village of Mas located south of Ubud is particularly famous. They are known for their amazing traditional carved masks and other exotic Balinese decorations. The streets of this little village are filled with small art shops and galleries. This is the place to get the best deal on any mask from Indonesia.
Where do the Balinese believe that the underworld lies?
Two snakes lie on top of the world turtle, as does the Black Stone, which forms the lid of the underworld. The underworld is ruled by the goddess Setesuyara and the god Batara Kala, who created light and the earth. Above the earth lies a series of skies.