TITLE: Wayang Wong Ravana
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Asia
DESCRIPTION: Ravana Mask
MAKER: Ida Made Sutiarka, Singapadu (1974- )
CEREMONY: Wayang Wong
MAIN MATERIAL: pule wood
OTHER MATERIALS: leather; cotton; oil-based paint; gilded silver jewelry; rhinestones; mirrors; gold leaf; string
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 the antihero Ravana, whose nature is somewhat ambiguous in Hindu lore. On one hand, he is generally thought to have been a capable king. On the other, his evil deeds doom him to retribution at the hands of Rama and his allies.
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.