TITLE: Topeng Kabo Iwo
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Asia
DESCRIPTION: Kabo Iwo Mask
MAKER: Ida Ketut Berati, Singapadu (1967- )
CEREMONY: Topeng Dance Drama
MAIN MATERIAL: pule wood
OTHER MATERIALS: paint; pig teeth; human hair; gilded silver jewelry; semi-precious stones
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. Most 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.
Other stories are folk tales. This specific mask represents a character known as Kabo Iwo. Kabo Iwo is a cannibalistic giant and very rarely represented in Topeng drama.
For more on Balinese masks, see Judy Slattum, Masks of Bali: Spirits of an Ancient Drama (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1992).