Masks are an important cultural icon that helps preserve tradition, religion and history. This is especially true of Indonesian masks. They are carved on Indonesian islands like Bali, Java, Lombok, Sulawesi and Timor. All have different types of masks with cultural significance that symbolize people, deities, demons and more. The Balinese carve many elaborately detailed wooden masks with a wide variety of forms reflecting the Hindu belief that everything has an active spirit. A mask communicates some of the life of the ceremonial world that it represents. Some masks are made to be worn during ceremony, others for decorating the home.



Wood/Bone- Indonesian art forms are rich in symbolism. Motifs are drawn from nature using animals, plants, humans and even the heavens. The carvings can also represent religious or mystical symbols related to earlier forms of animism and then later to Hinduism. Carvers will also use very contemporary and abstract designs.






Silver/Bone/Wood- Jewelry design whether in bone, silver or wood is another artistic form the Balinese choose to showcase their talents. Traditional silver work is hand soldered together rather than being cast. This is a very unique and difficult method of making jewelry. There is a central village area where the silversmiths live and another village where you will find many of the bone carvers. The bone carvers use their skill to create very intricate pendants, body jewelry, hairsticks and carved buffalo skulls and bones. They use the bones of older water buffalo which have been retired from the fields. The popularity of these carvings necessitates the need for the Balinese to import bones from other islands. Every part of these “retired” buffalo is used for food or in the creation of art.

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