Uncanny Artist Ephemera and Objects for Artists and Collectors
  • Indonesian Topeng Mask

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    This is a hand carved wood Indonesian Topeng Mask, frequently used in Java and Bali.   Topeng (meaning mask) is an Indonesian form of dance drama in which one or more dancers wear masks and perform ancient stories, often concerning ancient or mythical kings and heroes, 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.  This mask (character unknown) is of a man with open eyes and mouth; sculpted furrowed brow; thick black eyebrows; wide nose with open nostrils; black downturned moustache; and prominent squared chin.  He is painted in a rich flesh tone with black and gray lines on his brows, eyes and cheeks.  The eye holes, nostrils and mouth are  each ringed in red and defined with a thin black line.  There is a small hole at eye level on either side of the mask with thin white string.  There is a label inside marked "Made in Indonesia."  The mask measures 7.5" high by 5.5" wide by 4" deep.   Maker, island of origin, and exact age are unknown but the mask is believed to be contemporary. This Indonesian Topeng Mask is in Very Good condition.  There is some slight paint wear at the tip of the nose and along the base of the chin.