20 Interesting Facts About Indonesian Masks

Talking about the facts that we can find inside our beloved county Indonesia, surely we will get tons of information about that. So, what for today’s topic? Let’s see here, afte talking about the importance of tourism, and cuisine, maybe it would be better if we going again into some kind of culture in Indonesia, the masks.

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Masks in Indonesia have so many use. Some people can just use the maks for performing, or maybe using the mask for more serious matter like doing a ritual or something. But, inside the world of mask in Indonesia, there are so many hidden interesting facts about Indonesian masks.

1. Panji Mask

The first thing we should learn about the mask is character. There are several masks that can resemble characters very well via their looks, and the performance by the dancers or performers. The one example is this Panji Mask.

If you look at it cloesly, maybe it’s a bit horryfing. The mask is coloured white, and also has the eyes that dominated with white colour too. Actually this mask is a resemblance of a newly born chilld, figure of nobilty and the figur who always grateful towards God.

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2. Pamindo Mask

The next mask on our list is the Pamindo Mask character. If the mask above shows a very good behaviour, so what about this one mask. Is it good, or is it bad? Pamindo is different from the mask above, this Pamindo has so red face, and little mustache on its face.

This Pamindo character is somewhat different from it looks. The usage of this mask is usually for the group dance that will include some people. This maks resembles very well the importance of friends and also understanding.

3. Tumenggung Mask

The othe mask that is also included in this article of interesting facts about Indonesian masks is the Tumenggung Mask. This maks is the mask that resembles very well the characteristic of a leader. A person who would bring any people around them to success.

And this mask is not only dance by women, it’s also work for the men dancers. With the clear expresion on the face, and also the eyes that are wide open, the Tumenggung mask shows its bravery towards the problems and obstacles in the future.

4. Kelana Mask

And here goes another scar mask. This one is colored just like the Pamindo maks on the second mask above. The difference is, this Kelana mask has gigantic teeth, more mustache, and the eyes that almost fall of its face.

The Kelana mass is not only evil, but this maks is suitable for describing a character who liek to do adventuring, or Berkelana. The anger that shown via the physical features of the face, is showing the hard and long journeym to find the true meaning of life. The face is colored right red, because of the character full with dynamics and lust.

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5. Rumyang Mask                

Next to it is the Rumyang Mask. This mask is the mask that used for the character of a goddess. The goddes who transferred herself to be a human. The name of Rumyang consist of Rum which means fragrant, and the word Yang, or Hyang which means God.

So, the name of Rumyang is the maks for the remembrance for us to always make the name of our good more good by always doing what we’ve told. This character always having the calm, peace, and also added with the action of sincere.

6. Prabu Asmoro Bangun Mask

The mask of Parbu Asmoro Bangun resembles the character of a mask, who is always brave to fight the enemies right in front of his eyes. This Parbu Asmoro Bangung is more like heroic knigh that is the character that always dreamt by the boys.

In the world of Pewayangan (Indonesian puppets), this mask is describing the special character called Arjuna, who has the strength and the look who fought his enemis, Kurawa. The green coloured on the maks is resembling the wise and kind character. The mask is also having a dot in the middle of his eyebrows, showing that Prabu Asmoro Bangun is a god.

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7. Dewi Sekataji Mask

The other godlike mask is this Dewi Sekataji Mask. Dewi Sekataji is well known goddes in the Indonesian folkores, always has this kind and calm character. All resembled very well in this maks, that coloured white and beautifully decorated.

Dewi Sekataji is also beautiful, and a very favorable character, that why many people in Indonesia use the goddes inside their story. This mask is also having a dot in the middle of her eyebrows, sharp or pointed nose, that is the characteristic of a goddes.

8. Bapang Mask

If the two masks above is the resemblance of a good god and goddes, this one is the opposite of them. This mask called Bapang, having very red colour, very wide opened eyes, and also horrifying golden teeth.

By looking at his physical appereances, we can assume that this mask is of course having very evl character. Even though it’s evil, but this Bapang is not included as evil himself, but more like the god who has evil character.

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9. Gunung Sari Mask

The next one mask is this Gunung Sari Mask. This mask is the character who always help the Panjis above, the first Panji mask and also the Parbu Asmoro Bangun. This one character is more like a consultant for the Panji.

Different from the masks above, this Gunung Sari maks is not included as godly character, but it’s just ordinary human. The Gunung Sari or Klan Gunung Sari is a son of Jenggala Manik who has very cheerful character.

10. Reog Mask

There’s one mask, one traditional mask of East Java province in the area of Ponorogo, called Reog. This Reog is one of the heritage that came from the land of Java, a dance, a mask with a lot of controversies behind it.

First thing first, we want to take a look at the performer. During the performance, the performer who hold the responsibility should grip the mask with his own teeth. And he must hold it as long as possible till the show ends.

11. Barong Mask

The next one is the Barong mask. Barong mask is not just usual stuff that you can make fun off. This Barong even considered as a sacred thing in Bali, a dance that needed more preaparations and ritual first before doing the performance.

There are some kinds of Barong mask, each of them has their own functionality. Like this one for example, the Barong that has the combination from should be exist on the rituals that held in the land of Bali island.

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12. The Making of Masks

Now, we talk about the process of making mask. The process of making the masks should start way before actually doing the craft. First, the maker should do a little research about what is the proper wood that can be used for making mask.

After picking material, the maker should draw basic line to be able to imagine the physical form of a  mask. And then, the mask maker will start to carving the woods, making important elements of a face like nose, eyebrows, and also eyes. And then for the finalization, the mask will be colored with corresponding colour.

13. Warok Controversies

In the dance of reog Ponorogo, there will be some waroks who also joinin the dance. Warok is the man, fat ones, with the red colour from the face up, to the toes. In this era, maybe waroks are basically usual performers who only doing the dances without any purpose beside entertainment,

But, there’s also one tradition of Warok, which is considered very evil, very cruela and brutal. Why is that? Because that tradition involves some boys around 10 years old to be gemblak, group of people used for exual pleasure for the warok. It’s strange indeed, and hopefully that tradition already stopped long time ago.

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So that is our interesting facts about Indonesian masks that you should know, if you’re interested enough into going deeper to the world of Indonesian masks. Maybe you can be an apprentice someday, who knows. But, we want to add little something in here, like :

  1. Reog is one mask full of myth
  2. There are certain masks that use for doing black magic
  3. There are several dances that include masks like Panji Mask Dance
  4. Samba Mask Dance
  5. Rumyang Mask Dance
  6. Tumenggung Mask Dance
  7. Kelana Mask Dance

Yep, our complete of the interesting facts about Indonesian masks ends here. So what do you think about the Indonesian masks? Are they beautiful or epic? Maybe you can answer them all once you able to see them directly right in front of your eyes.

For the man who wants to make his own mask, in Indonesia there are several places for training it. And for the women who wants to do some mask dancing, they can learn in “Sanggar Tari” that are so abundant in here.