Bali & Java

Barong mask from Bali

Q: Does anyone know what kind of mask this is? Thanks! Stephanie, 1652

A: Because of its poor craftsmanship it could come from a rural village, or maybe it’s just a cheap tourist souvenir. I thought it should be posted because I’ve never seen one that looks like this. Barongs are supposed to be protective spirits that patrol the village border to sniff out dangerous demons and scare them away. The mask is worn with a very elaborate costume. Barongs are also danced in some of the traditional dramas. I’m pleased that masquerade is still widely practiced all over this Indonesian island.

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