Topeng Keras


  • Topeng Keras from Topeng Babad
  • Hand carved by Traditional Mask Maker
  • Made of Pule Wood(Alstonia Augustifolia)
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Topeng Keras ‘Hard  Mask’ is one of 6 masks that complete the Topeng Babad Bali. Otherwise known as Sidakarya. Made of Pule Wood (Alstonia Angustiloba) Available for Pre-Order. Each mask like Topeng Tua is made following the traditional processes that we discuss and document in our ‘Living Masks Blog Series’.

Part of the Sawidji direction is sharing knowledge of our cultural and artistic heritage. Knowledge is a beautiful gift and these Masks such as that of ‘Topeng Keras’ are the unchanging faces that have stayed with us through generations, passing down old wisdom and life lessons to each new generation.

There are many masks that appear to be the same in the market but a lack of information that differentiate the masks of different artisanship. Which is one of the very real issues that traditional artists face in Bali. It is exactly this very reason why our Balinese traditional arts are in a challenging situation.  The result is that the value is systematically made unclear. As a result, the artists and artisans who specialise in their art are in a position of disadvantage.

Their works are drowned out by the over-saturation of imitations and copies that overrun markets to cater to commercial tourist trade.

This is one reason why Sawidji directly focuses on our artists and artisans. Firstly, it is they, who we are introducing to the world. Wholeheartedly. Building our house on the basis of transparency and openness. Bringing you the works of our artists directly and have them fairly recognised for the wonderful talents they have.

Kadek Sudiasa and .Ketut Sukerta are both texceptional masks makers from Mas Ubud.

Learn more about the Topeng Babad of Bali

You may also enjoy the history of Barong Landung Masks of Bali.

The Subtleties of Topeng Keras

Topeng Babad Today


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About Topeng Babad:

Topeng Babad is performed during important ceremonies. Also,’Pajegan’ comes from the word ‘majeg’ meaning’ to do everything alone’. And Babad, means history. Because the story told by these masks is very much part of Balinese history.

Topeng Pajegan Performance performed by one male dancer. Who will adorn in total the five masks to complete the storytelling through dance. The story itself is powerful. It is performed as a means of entertainment as well as comic relief on occasions.


The Story:


The Sidakarya Mask Dance departs from a story about a Brahmin Keling who was not allowed to attend the Eka Dasa Rudra Ceremony at Besakih Temple after a long journey. Raja Waturenggong forbade the Brahmin Keling from attending the ceremony because of his shabby appearance and did not depict the figure of a brahmin. Because he was not recognized as a brahmin, he was later expelled from Besakih Temple. When he left the temple, he took an oath. He vowed that drought and disaster would occur. After leaving, the light of the expletive spoken by Brahmin Keling came true. In the midst of the disaster, the King then asked for instructions in meditation. The King got a clue that an apology to the Brahmin Keling had to be spoken to overcome the disasters in the kingdom. At that time, the Brahmin Keling was at Sidakarya. Raja Waturenggong also apologized. Seeing the king’s sincerity, Brahmin withdrew the oath he had made. Returning to the way it was before, King Waturenggong also recognized the Brahmin Keling as his brother and gave the title Brahmin Sidakarya or Dalem Sidakarya.
In the end, the King also said that every Hindu must perform the Nunas Tirtha Penyida Karya ceremony at Pesraman Dalem Sidakarya so that the work carried out became sidakarya (successful). Therefore, the Sidakarya Mask Dance is usually danced just before the Yad Ceremony takes place. It is intended that the desired intent can be granted. Because it is danced as a complement to religious rituals, the Sidakarya Mask Dance is included in the Wali Dance type.
You might never hear the name of the Sidakarya Mask Dance. Because this dance is only performed specifically. Sidakarya Mask Dance is played by male dancers wearing white masks. His mask is far from a handsome face. His eyes were slanted, his teeth stubbed, his face half human half demon, long shoulder-length hair, and wearing a white veil. Dancers usually carry bokoran containing canang sari, incense, yellow rice, and sekar ura. Before starting to dance, the dancers will recite sacred mantras so that the ceremony will run smoothly. After that, yellow rice was sprinkled around as a symbol of giving profit to Bhuta Kala so as not to disturb the peace of human life.

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