TITLE: Wayang Wong Jayatu
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Asia
DESCRIPTION: Jayatu Mask
MAKER: Ida Wayan Tangguh, Singapadu (1935-2016)
CEREMONY: Wayang Wong
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.