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Masks are powerful receptacles of wandering spirits, the divine and the demonic. For thousands of years masks have been used for rituals, protection and entertainment purposes and are considered sacred objects.
Masked dramas, puppet shows, operas and ballets are vehicles of religious teachings in the Indonesian culture. Elaborate dance dramas use masks to bring to life mythological figures. Masked dramas may be performed to appease witches or gods to appeal for their support. Masked dancers are believed to possess the spirits of the mask. The spectacular dance tradition in Bali consists of four traditional drams. The Wayang Wong is drawn from Hindu legends dramatizing the Ramayana and the Mahabhrata. The Barong is a dance that expels evil spirits from villages it involves giant puppets and animals that are seen as protectors. The Topeng or masked theater tells stories of ancient kingdoms and provides a visual for people to relate to their ancestors and the Calonarang which is a call to appease and get the support of Durga, the Queen of witches and Goddess of death.
Category: Mask tradition
Added on: Jun 15, 2002 | Hits: 2464
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