Bali & Java

Love it or hate it

Rural Java
Rural Java

Q: Bob, thoughts on this one?  Nate, 571

A: Rough looking masks like this often turn up in rural areas of Java. It has probably been repainted several times. The last time very quickly. Could have been inspired by Jean-Michel Basquiat. Just joking– I find the mask very attractive. I wonder how many other collectors do? Here is some copy from a page in our Masks section. “This kind of mask generally comes from the Dieng mountains located in Central Java and would have been owned by a Topeng dance group from a small village. There are still some villages in the mountains that are quite isolated from the modern world, and where they are still practicing the dance rituals. Typically a group will travel to entertain in other villages that don’t have their own dance troupe.” Also, check out the white Javanese character done by a professional carver in the Bali-Java section of this website.


  • Charles Mandel

    I love it! About twenty years ago I purchased a few pieces in the Dieng Plateau area. I can see a few similarities between mine and the one pictured. Makes a great display.

  • leon

    wouldn’t surprise me at all if it wasnt wayang topeng but newar shamans mask, i have a statuette from the newar shaman wit the same kind of face! It doesn’t look to old.

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