Prince Raden Panji (L) Princess Dewi Sekartaji (R)
Period: 19th Century
Origin: Bali, Indonesia
Material: Wood, Paint
Size: H 21cm (L) / H 20cm (R)
Description: "Topeng Mask" is a dramatic form of Indonesian dance in which one of more mask-wearing, ornately costumed perforers interpret traditional narratives concerning fabled kings, heroes and myths, accompanied by gamelan or other traditional music instruments.
It is beleived that the use of masks is related to the cult of the ancestors, which considered dancers the interpreters of the gods. Topeng performances open with a series of non-speaking masked characters which may not be related to the story to be performed.
It appeared in 15th century Bali and Jave where is prevalent still but it can also be found in other islands of Indonesia. Topeng dance originated from tribal dances held in the honor of ancestors, where dancers with masks were playing roles of messengers of gods.