Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Bali, ca. 18th to early 19th century CE. Quite dramatic, an expertly carved wooden articulated puppet mask from Barong operated by holding the two handles emerging from the backside and moving the head to open and close the mouth. It is used in the Barong and Calonarang dances, in village ceremonies or processions, and appears in the altars of Hindu temples. Custom stand. Size: 8.75" L x 5.75" W x 5" H (22.2 cm x 14.6 cm x 12.7 cm); 7.5" H (19 cm) on stand
The visage is quite dramatic with bulging eyes, curled theatrical eyelids, a fleshy nose with flaring nostrils, crested motifs upon the forehead, and a magnificent large, articulated toothy mouth - all painted with strikingly rich red hues and black, yellow, and white accents. Fabulous patina. Quite old and rare!
Barong Ket, also known as Basnapati Rajah, is sometimes described as a combination of a lion and a tiger. He is the most important protection mask of the Barongs and is also the keeper of White Magic, whose eternal enemy is Rangda. These two entities embody the universal balance between the Good and the Bad in Balinese mythology.
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