Bali is an island, which throughout the ages has been influenced by many other cultures. While Bali’s religious root stems from animism and ancestral worship, Hindu mythology and Buddhism have been major influences. However, regardless of what they were practicing, one factor has always remained constant: “Life in Bali is governed by religion” . Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the art of mask making derived as a religious act, rather than a quest to create aesthetic beauty. Masks thus give form to godly and chthonic forces and are used in theatrical performances to teach adaptations of Indian Sanskrit Texts . In addition, theatrical mask dances are used for, “planting and harvest celebrations and at times of transition in the lives of individuals and communities”. Mask dances, such as Topeng, also discuss politics of the past and present, and morals. I will further discuss the masked dances in another section of this article.
Theatre in Bali, Indonesia is more surgical mask manufacturer china3,medical mask manufacturers china a distinguished discipline; it is a performance entwined with every day life. Theatre, like all art, is a part of the religion and culture in Bali; thus all Balinese participate in art in some way. Furthermore, music, dance, costumes, and drama are not separate entities, but rather pieces of Balinese Theatre that rely on each other to achieve their ultimate purpose: Creating unity and harmony between the three worlds. In this article, I am going to discuss Balinese masks and the religious-socio-cultural role they play in Balinese Theatre.
Balinese Beliefs & Mythology
The Bali Hindu religion, the foundation of the ordered Balinese society, pervades every aspect of life. Bali Hinduism, which has root in Indian Hinduism and in Buddhism, adopted the animistic traditions of the indigenes, who inhibited the island around the first millennium BC. This influence strengthened the belief that the gods and goddesses are present in all things. Every element of nature, therefore, possesses its own power, which reflects the power of the gods. A rock, tree, dagger, or woven cloth is a potential home for spirits whose energy can be directed for good or evil. However, even art shop masks, those wood masks made in an unconsecrated assembly-line manner to be sold to tourist, have been known to become possessed. A former director of Bali’s Art Center has a concise explanation: “If you make an attractive home, someone will want to live in it.” A desirable proposition
According to Bali Hinduism, for every positive principle or constructive force there is an equally powerful destructive forces. These are sometimes referred to as forces of the right (high) and forces of the left (low). The two elements ideally coexist in balance so that neither assumes too much power. Maintaining this precarious equilibrium is a constant preoccupation for the Balinese, who prepare daily offerings to satiate the spirits and keep them under control as well as plead for blessings.