TITLE: Rangda (Calonarang)
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Asia
COUNTRY: Indonesia
SUBREGION: Bali
ETHNICITY: Balinese
DESCRIPTION: Rangda Ing Girah (Calonarang) Mask
MAKER: Ida Wayan Tangguh, Singapadu (1935-2016)
CEREMONY: Barong Dance; Calonarang
AGE: 2012
MAIN MATERIAL: pule wood
OTHER MATERIALS: gold-plated silver; glass; buffalo leather; paint; gold paint; horse hair

The Rangda Ing Girah (“Widow of Girah Village”) is a creature of ambiguous significance in Balinese religious traditions. In Bali, she is typically referred to as Calonarang, which is also the name of her performance. Technically, she is a child-eating demon and queen of the evil witches (leyak). In the Calonarang performance, she seeks vengeance when the King Erlangga refuses to wed her beautiful daughter, Ratna Manggali. She leads her army of apprentices against the forces of good, represented by the protective Barong and his allies. Her many witch-apprentices include Rarung, Lenda, Lendi, Gandi, Weksirsa, Jaran Guyang, and Mahesa Wedan.

She has many affinities to the destructive Hindu god Kali, worshiped in parts of India, but she also seems to be associated with the Javanese mythical witch, also called Calonarang. Nonetheless, the Rangda mask is a sacred object of worship and usually kept in a temple, with protective associations. Rangda masks are taken out to perform dances and ceremonies on major holidays, most notably the Kunti Sraya, or Barong Dance.

This specific Rangda was the last made by the master craftsman, I. Wayan Tangguh of Singapadu, a few years before he died.

For more on Balinese masks, see Judy Slattum, Masks of Bali: Spirits of an Ancient Drama (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1992).


Video of a Barong Ceremony in Bali, Indonesia, 2018.

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TITLE: Barong Ket
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Asia
COUNTRY: Indonesia
SUBREGION: Bali
ETHNICITY: Balinese
DESCRIPTION: Barong Ket Mask
MAKER: Ida Wayan Tangguh, Singapadu (1935-2016)
CEREMONY: Barong Dance; Japatuan; Basur
AGE: 2012
MAIN MATERIAL: pule wood
OTHER MATERIALS: glass rhinestones; mirrors; buffalo leather; paint; gilding; human hair; gold-plated silver ornaments; brass bells

Barong masks are some of the most important cultural artifacts in Bali.  The Barong is a mythical beast that purifies and protects the village. The mask itself is a sacred object of worship and usually kept in a temple. Barong masks are taken out to perform dances and ceremonies on major holidays, most notably the Kunti Sraya, or Barong Dance. That dance recreates a contest between good (represented by the Barong and its followers) and evil (represented by the goddess of death, Rangda, and her followers).

Barongs come in many types, depending on the type of animal represented.  Barongs may take the form of a boar, bull or deer, for example. This mask, the barong ket, represents a mythical beast combining attributes of the tiger, ox, and some unique attributes. It is sometimes erroneously referred to as a lion (there are no wild lions in Indonesia, and never have been any, so the Balinese would not have been able to use one as a template for their masks). The ket is the chief of all barongs and acts as a potent protector against the harmful influence of ghosts on the village.

This specific barong ket was the last one made by the master craftsman, I. Wayan Tangguh of Singapadu, before he died.

For more on Balinese masks, see Judy Slattum, Masks of Bali: Spirits of an Ancient Drama (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1992).


Video of a Barong Ceremony in Bali, Indonesia, 2018.

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TITLE: Topeng Patih Keras
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Asia
COUNTRY: Indonesia
SUBREGION: Bali
ETHNICITY: Balinese
DESCRIPTION: Patih Keras (Arya Sentan) Mask
MAKER: Ida Wayan Muka, Mas Ubud (1971- )
CEREMONY: Topeng Dance Drama
AGE: 2013
MAIN MATERIAL: pule wood
OTHER MATERIALS: colored glass rhinestones; goat leather and hair; gold-plated silver ornaments; mother of pearl; paint; string; rubber band

The Topeng dance drama is an important traditional entertainment and education on the island of Bali, Indonesia. Its origin can be traced to the oral history of the Balinese people and venerable palm-leaf written histories, influenced by Hinduism imported from India. The dance may have originated as early as 840 CE. The stories depicted in this drama, called Babad Dalem, tell a political history of the islands of Bali and Java as written by the court poets of the regional kings.

This specific mask represents a character known as Patih Keras or Arya Sentan. Patih Keras is a strong, high ranking court official, usually an aristocratic warrior or assistant to the king. He may appear in an introductory dance after the Patih Manis (prime minister).  The mask was carved and painted by the master craftsman I. Wayan Muka.

For more on Balinese masks, see Judy Slattum, Masks of Bali: Spirits of an Ancient Drama (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1992).

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TITLE: Barong Macan
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Asia
COUNTRY: Indonesia
SUBREGION: Bali
ETHNICITY: Balinese
DESCRIPTION: Jero Gede Macaling Mask
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Barong Landung Dance
AGE: ca. 1980s
MAIN MATERIAL: pule wood
OTHER MATERIALS: horse hair; gold-plated silver ornaments; paintThe Jero Gede Macaling represent a human-like Barong supposed to be the male ancestor of the Balinese people, of Malayo-Indian origin. His appearance reflects demonic influence, but he is in fact harmless, because of the restraint exercised on him by his wife, Jero Luh, who represents a Chinese ancestor of the Balinese. Together, the Jero Gede and Jero Luh are paraded around the village to exorcise evil spirits, in a ritual known as the Barong Landung.

For more on Balinese masks, see Judy Slattum, Masks of Bali: Spirits of an Ancient Drama (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1992).

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TITLE: Topeng Raja Putri
TYPE: mask
GENERAL REGION: Asia
COUNTRY: Indonesia
SUBREGION: Bali
ETHNICITY: Balinese
DESCRIPTION: Raja Putri (Queen) Mask
MAKER: Ida Bagus Anom Suryawan, Mas Ubud (1953- )
CEREMONY: Topeng Dance Drama
AGE: 1990s
MAIN MATERIAL: pule wood
OTHER MATERIALS: gold-plated silver; colored glass; oil-based paint

The Topeng dance drama is an important traditional entertainment and education on the island of Bali, Indonesia. Its origin can be traced to the oral history of the Balinese people and venerable palm-leaf written histories, influenced by Hinduism imported from India. The dance may have originated as early as 840 CE. The stories depicted in this drama, called Babad Dalem, tell a political history of the islands of Bali and Java as written by the court poets of the regional kings.

This specific mask represents a character known as Raja Putri, the ideal queen or wife of a high ranking court official.  It was formerly played solely by men as a difficult solo dance, but it is rarely performed any more.

For more on Balinese masks, see Judy Slattum, Masks of Bali: Spirits of an Ancient Drama (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1992).

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TITLE: Topeng Bondres
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Asia
COUNTRY: Indonesia
SUBREGION: Bali
ETHNICITY: Balinese
DESCRIPTION: Bondres Ngecir Mask
MAKER: Ida Made Sutiarka and Ida Wayan Tangguh (1935-2016), Singapadu
CEREMONY: Topeng Dance Drama; Barong Performance
AGE: 2012
MAIN MATERIAL: pule wood
OTHER MATERIALS: paint; goat hair; rawhide; string

The Topeng dance drama is an important traditional entertainment and education on the island of Bali, Indonesia. Its origin can be traced to the oral history of the Balinese people and venerable palm-leaf written histories, influenced by Hinduism imported from India. The dance may have originated as early as 840 CE. The stories depicted in this drama, called Babad Dalem, tell a political history of the islands of Bali and Java as written by the court poets of the regional kings.

This specific mask represents a class of clownish characters known as bondres. The bondres character typically wears a half mask or an articulated full mask strapped to the head to allow for speaking or singing.  Unlike most Balinese masks, which portray stock characters, many bondres characters are unique representations of village types portrayed by the actor who owns the mask.  It was carved and painted by the late master craftsman Wayan Tangguh and his son, Made Sutiarka.

For more on Balinese masks, see Judy Slattum, Masks of Bali: Spirits of an Ancient Drama (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1992).

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TITLE: Wayang Wong Rama
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Asia
COUNTRY: Indonesia
SUBREGION: Bali
ETHNICITY: Balinese
DESCRIPTION: Rama Mask
MAKER: Ida Wayan Tangguh, Singapadu (1935-2016)
CEREMONY: Wayang Wong
AGE: 2012
MAIN MATERIAL: pule wood
OTHER MATERIALS: gold-plated silver; glass; mirrors; buffalo leather; paint; gold leaf

The Wayang Wong dance drama retells parts of the Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. These epics revolve around the god Rama and his battle with the demon king Ravana, who has abducted Rama’s wife, Sita. In the end, Rama retrieves her with the help of the wily monkey god, Hanuman.  This mask represents Rama and was carved in 2012 by the late master craftsman, I. Wayan Tangguh.

For more on Balinese masks, see Judy Slattum, Masks of Bali: Spirits of an Ancient Drama (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1992).


Video of a Wayang Wong performance in Bali, Indonesia.

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TITLE: Leyak Mata Besik
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Asia
COUNTRY: Indonesia
SUBREGION: Bali
ETHNICITY: Balinese
DESCRIPTION: Leyak Mata Besik
MAKER: Ida Ketut Berati, Singapadu
CEREMONY: Calonarang Dance Drama
AGE: 2013
MAIN MATERIAL: pule wood
OTHER MATERIALS: oil paint; horsehair; gold-plated silver; semi-precious stones; string; rubber strap

The Calonarang dance drama centers around the character known as Rangda (also called Calonarang), who is the queen of witches and represents the Hindu goddess of death, Durga. Each village in Bali has a temple honoring the dead, dedicated to Durga. A performance of Calonarang is rare today, but it may commemorate the anniversary of a temple, or it may be used to purify a village if a disease epidemic appears. Rangda challenges the local witches (leyak) to a display of power, and if she prevails, they must stop inflicting ills on the village. Calonarang also serves to educate about Indonesian history and entertain the audience.

Rangda has a number of leyak followers. They are believed to haunt graveyards, devour corpses, and have the power to fly and morph themselves into animals. This specific mask represents Leyak Mata Besik, a witch who has studied black magic under Rangda’s tutelage. The mask was carved and painted by the master craftsman I. Ketut Berati of Singapadu.

For more on Balinese masks, see Judy Slattum, Masks of Bali: Spirits of an Ancient Drama (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1992).

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TITLE: Wayang Wong Jayatu
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Asia
COUNTRY: Indonesia
SUBREGION: Bali
ETHNICITY: Balinese
DESCRIPTION: Jayatu Mask
MAKER: Ida Wayan Tangguh, Singapadu (1935-2016)
CEREMONY: Wayang Wong
AGE: 2012
MAIN MATERIAL: pule wood
OTHER MATERIALS: colored glass; gold-plated silver ornaments; buffalo leather; mirrors; paint

The Wayang Wong dance drama retells parts of the Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. These epics revolve around the god incarnate Rama and his battle with the demon king Ravana, who has abducted Rama’s wife, Sita. In the end, Rama retrieves her with the help of the wily monkey god, Hanuman.

This specific mask represents Jayatu, a fierce bird and the youngest son of Aruna (and nephew of the bird-king Garuda). When the elderly Jayatu observes Ravana carrying away Sita, he throws himself at the demon and dies attempting to rescue Sita.  Before he dies, Rama finds him and blesses him with moksha (enlightenment) . It was carved in 2012 by the late master craftsman, I. Wayan Tangguh.

For more on Balinese masks, see Judy Slattum, Masks of Bali: Spirits of an Ancient Drama (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1992).

Video of a Wayang Wong performance in Bali, Indonesia.

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TITLE: Topeng Jauk Manis
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Asia
COUNTRY: Indonesia
SUBREGION: Bali
ETHNICITY: Balinese
DESCRIPTION: Jauk Manis Putih
MAKER: Ida Wayan Muka, Mas Ubud (1971- )
CEREMONY: Calonarang Dance
AGE: ca. 2000
MAIN MATERIAL: pule wood
OTHER MATERIALS: dyed silk hair; gold-plated silver; glass; abalone shell; oil paint

The Calonarang Dance, named after its main antagonist, recreates a contest between good (represented by the Barong and its followers) and evil (represented by the goddess of death, Rangda, and her followers). This specific mask represents a character type known as Jauk Manis. Jauk Manis is not a specific character but can be used to represent a variety of antagonists, such as malevolent giants, cruel kings, or hostile demons.

For more on Balinese masks, see Judy Slattum, Masks of Bali: Spirits of an Ancient Drama (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1992).

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