The Jakarta Post
Two dancers perform the traditional Panji mask dance from West Java. (Shutterstock/File)
A two-day festival of wayang topeng (mask puppets) is currently being held in Yogyakarta until Tuesday.
Taking place in the concert hall of the Taman Budaya Yogyakarta cultural park, the event features wayang topeng art performances from across the country, such as from Yogyakarta, Malang in East Java, Madura, Lamandau in Central Kalimantan, Bali and Indramayu in Central Java.
"Mask art is one of the oldest art expressions ever invented by human civilization. The existence of this traditional mask art needed to be encouraged and given room, as well promoted as a cultural heritage," said Yogyakarta cultural agency head Umar Priyono on Sunday as quoted by Antara news agency.
Read also: Ancient masks on display at Jogja Museum
Performances by the Saujah Group from Magelang and by Yogyakarta, Madura and Bali groups are scheduled to enliven the festival on Monday at 6 p.m. While groups from Malang, Indramayu and Lamandau will perform in the second day at 7:30 p.m.
"For many people, mask art has an important role in their lives as it is considered to possess sacred and mystical values. This is due to its huge role as a special symbol during various sacred traditional rituals and ceremonies," said Umar. (kes)
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