TITLE: Topeng Kodok
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Asia
COUNTRY: Indonesia
SUBREGION: Bali
ETHNICITY: Balinese
DESCRIPTION: Kodok (Frog Princess) Mask
MAKER: Ida Wayan Muka (1971- , Mas Ubud, Bali)
CEREMONY: Topeng Dance Drama
AGE: 2018
MAIN MATERIAL: pule wood
OTHER MATERIALS: oil-based paint; string; rubber straps

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 KodokKodok is a frog princess from an eponymous story (Kodok Ngokek). In the drama, Kodok‘s parents oppose her marriage to a frog prince (Godogan), and play revolves around the prince’s efforts to win their approval. 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).