Vintage Mask of a King (Topeng Dalem), Bali (1301-32JBE)


H: 7.375″   W:  5.625″   D: 3 ” | FREE SHIPPING!

A traditional Balinese mask, this is a refined, idealized and upright model of a Hindu king (dalem) and is usually white, the color of purity. The mask and dance portrays the actions, traits, and gestures of a good king: grace, poise, dignity and refinement. Well carved and balanced, it has fine proportions, and the crown, animal hide/hair, eyebrows and mustache are well integrated to present a confident king. Personally collected in Bali in the 1970s, it is in very good condition with a wash applied as a patina to make it look older.


Wearing full masks like this ideal one of a high-born Hindu King (Dalem), dancers from Bali perform their folk-art and ethnic-art dances without speech and use only body language, gestures, movements, and postures to depict the mask’s character. Made from light pulai wood, Hindu Balinese-masks (topeng) dance honors and attracts the favor of gods and ancestral spirits and are considered offerings to them, as masks dances are highly valued Hindu-cultural-and-ritual-art and are well attended by all Balinese. In the west mask dancers pretend they are someone else; in Bali, they become the character they are dancing. A mask is said to possess spiritual magic and is seen as powerful and magical as if they were Balinese-wood-carvings placed in a sacred temple, as like temple statues they are considered Hindu-cultural-and ritual-art. A special 5-mask presentation by a single dancer called a topeng pajegan often includes topeng dalem set in an outer temple courtyard considered sacred. There, the dancer changes masks and costumes with the audience watching and executes five very different personalities. Masks presented there are Indonesian-woodcarvings that may be derived from the Hindu epics the Ramayana and Mahabharata on distinctive occasions such as an odalan, the yearly celebration of a village temple’s original founding. Others are taken from historical and legendary chronicles of Hindu-Balinese kings called Babad DalemThis piece is in the VA Hindu-Cultural-and-Ritual Art Collection.

Click here for the blog Indonesian Dance Masks (Topeng): Spiritually Connecting the Community

Additional information

Weight 3 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 9 × 6 in
Place of Origin

Indonesia, Bali


Vintage (1920-1980)


Ca 1975

Materials and Technique

Carved wood, polychrome, and animal hide/hair

Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 7.375” W: 5.625” D: 3.”




Very good, see description

Reference Number


Shipping Box Size