Rangda Mask



The Rangda mask from Bali is a main character in the Bali dance. Balinese believed that the masks were possessed by powerful forces. Rangda is the demon queen of the Leyaks in Bali, according to traditional Balinese mythology. The child-eating, witch-widow mistress of black magic Rangda leads an army of evil witches against the leader of the forces of good - Barong. The Barong-Rangda dance was a dangerous rite of exorcism until, in the 1930s; the German painter Walter Spies modified it into dance drama for tourists. This dance is the classic example of Balinese way of acting out mythology, resulting in myth and history being blended into one reality. In the Barong play which ritually enacts the battle between good and evil, when the hideous witch, Rangda forces the men of the village to turn their swords on themselves, the Barong Ket, a mythical beast, spreads its beneficent power and prevents the blades from piercing their flesh. Rangda is represented as a grotesque old woman. She is entirely covered by her black/white hair, which reached to her feet, allowing only the bulging eyes and twisted fangs of her mask to be seen. Her long tongue hangs out, painted red and ending in flames of gold.

The Rangda mask was and is still used in Bali trance dance. The masks of Rangda are considered sacred items and permission to the tree spirit is asked before carving commence. During and after the process of carving, priest pray and perform various rites to purify the masks and invite the deities to enter the mask. Masks like this one are carved as a, not sacred, replica of the original to be sold to merchants and tourists in markets.

Pule wood , Fibers , Cloth , Glass

Height : 32″ (81.3cm)