Masks / Topeng
Topeng (Indonesian for “mask”) is a dramatic form of Indonesian dance in which one or more mask-wearing, ornately costumed performers interpret traditional narratives concerning fabled kings, heroes and myths, accompanied by gamelan music.
It is believed that the use of masks is related to the cult of the ancestors, which considered dancers the interpreters of the gods. Topeng performances open with a series of non-speaking masked characters which may not be related to the story to be performed. These traditional masks often include Topeng Manis (a refined hero), Topeng Kras (a martial, authoritarian character), and Topeng Tua (an old man who may joke and draw-out the audience).
All of the artwork pictured above can be viewed at the Bali Culture Workshop in the Oka Kartini Compound, Jalan Raya in downtown Ubud.