Topeng Pajegan

The mask or 'topeng' in Indonesian , is one of the things used in performance such as dance or dance drama. The mask is also part of religious ceremonies as arts are an integral part of Bali's religion.

According to one of the mask artist from Peliatan, the Balinese mask is an art form developed from ancient people who had reached point in Bali's Hindu cultural period. In the meantime, masks have also developed a new function as an accessory of performances which portray folklore stories, history etc.

There are many kinds of masks. They have names such as: Topeng pajegan and Sidakarya, topeng panca, topeng sapta, wayang wong, barong, rangda etc. The masks of topeng pajegan by symbolized of human character based on their shapes and forms. When used in dance drama, every mask then has its representation of a person such as king, chief minister to a king, king's wife and servent and so on.

According to Prof. Made Bandem, the topeng is an important part of culture. Culture and Balinese spiritual tradition are connected and tied to each other. The sacred mask in Bali functions as a bond within the social life (in Bali).

Although the function of the mask as religious element of ceremonies such as: topeng pajegan and topeng sidakarya still exist, the other function of the mask, such as performances to inform, entertain and educate the young generation now, is not as popular a medium as before. Why? because there are so many sources to get information and modern forms of entertainment.

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