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Mask of Man with Cap



This hilarious mask comes from the island of Madura off the city Surabaya in East Java. It most likely was part of a ludruk traditional theatre which would have traveled from village to village following celebrations. The mask is a dance mask and is attached to the dancer by the means of an inner-tubing bit that the dancer bites between his teeth. Legend has it that a Java king disliked actors satirizing him and decreed that all masks should be held by biting a bit to stop the actors speaking.

The character this mask represents appears to be a comic soldier probably named Sariping. Inside the mask, using the same enamel paint as the black of the cap, is the name Sariping, and penned in the inner right cheek is another name: Tumidi. This name probably was the actor's name. The moustache is made of goat skin. This mask was probably made and used in the 1960's. It measures approximately 19 cm long from chin to top.

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