The masked dances of Java

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The masked dances of Java

17 07 1678 07 20923

The masked dances of Java

The wayang topeng dance appeared in Java prior to the 15th century. The masked characters mime the stories told by a dalang accompanied by a gamelan orchestra. While the set of masks originally consisted of only nine, it was later widened to twenty.

There are many types of the painted wood-carved masks. Those which have a straight and pretty nose represent nobility. The golden masks represent the gods; the white masks are princes and great persons and the yellow masks represent simple characters. Masks with large crooked noses and bulging eyes are demons. 

These dances are performed in weddings and festivals and represent the two epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata or the Panji circle.


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