Small wooden dance and performance mask (Java, Indonesia)
This mask comes from Java, an island in Indonesia. In some Indonesian dramas, actors wear masks to show their characters. This wooden mask is of Laksmana, who appears in the epic Indian story, the Ramayana.
Laksmana wears a modest crown to show that he comes from a royal family. Spots of bright colours - red, pink, blue and white - decorate the crown like jewels. A double band of blue borders the base of the crown. Below the crown, Laksmana's black curly hair makes a fringe across his forehead. The head and crown are carved from the same piece of wood, and the features have been carefully carved and painted.
Laksmana's face is smooth and almost flat, apart from the nose. His heart-shaped face tapers to a slightly pointed chin, and his features are evenly proportioned with a long straight nose. Thin curving black lines indicate the planes of the face, a curl of hair follows the line of the cheekbone, and the nostrils are outlined. Laksmana's eyes are narrow and painted white, with the outline of an eyelid above each one. His eyebrows are high on the forehead and arched decoratively. He appears to be smiling as his painted red lips curve upwards, and at the ends there are laughter lines.