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Lot 162, Auction 5/30/2017: 20th C. Indonesian Painted Wood Dance Mask

Indonesia, Bali or Java, 20th century CE. This is a hand carved wood mask painted lavender with popping, bulging red eyes, a long, pointed nose, yellow teeth, and black-painted mustache, goatee, eyebrows, and worry lines. This is a Topeng -- actually the Indonesian word for mask -- which is worn during the dramatic dances enacted in Bali and to a lesser extent Java that depict traditional stories of kings, princes, heroes, and myths. In these dances, the entire story is performed by only four or five actors playing all the parts, both male and female. As a result, actors will have around forty masks like this one that are only his; there is believed to be a special bond between actor and mask and that when he dons the mask, he enters a kind of trance, connected to the spiritual world. Size: 5.6" W x 6.5" H (14.2 cm x 16.5 cm)

Condition: Some wear to paint and the tip of the nose is chipped

Provenance: Ex-Private LA County collection

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