Gold wayang topeng mask of King Klana

This mask probably represents King Klana who is closely related to the Ravana character in Balinese mask theatre. He is thought to have been a foreign king who posed a threat to the 12th century capital of Kediri in East Java. The mask has great energy and an element of menace. The delicate relief carving, colouring and painting is exceptionally fine.Wayang topeng, or masked dance performance, is one of the oldest of the Indonesian performing arts. Masks were used in dance performances for various rites which are still undertaken today. It is believed that the spirit of the character enters the body of the dancer through the mask. One performer can play a variety of characters using different masks. Many of the dances perform the Panji narratives. They tell of the adventures of Prince Panji and his beloved, Candra Kirana. They are accompanied by gamelan music.The colour of the face, as well as the size and shape of the eyes, indicate what type of character is being portrayed. Sophisticated and refined characters have pale faces, with delicate features and narrow eyes. Strong and coarse characters have brightly coloured or red faces, with round wide-open eyes.