Q: This mask has been in my family for many years and none of my living family knows anything about its origin. It is the size of an adult head. The materials appear to be on the front a light coloured wood, inside there is a wicker effect and black material. The jaw of the mask moves and appears to have steel pins and a reed effect on the inside. The hair appears to be made of animal hair. Anne, 552
A: The Topeng, or traditional dance dramas, are very popular in Bali, and your mask depicts one of many Bondres (comic characters) used in the performances. This one is a monkey, but there are others. All Balinese masks are impressively entertaining in appearance and are among my favorites. In recent years the comic masks can be seen all over Indonesia, especially on children’s TV. Yours is a low-priced version of a monkey, so I thought I’d also show one of better quality.