Wednesday, March 04, 2009
We collect masks of all kinds. While in Bali, we were fortunate enough to meet with the Master mask maker in his village and collect a few of his fabulous masks. The Balinese use these masks to play different characters in their dramas and the artist invited us to try on different ones and get the feel of each. On a return visit to him he had arranged a group of men to drum and chant for us and then play for us while we danced wearing the masks. It was an extraordinary time, one of many such events in our visit to that country. When an artist becomes very successful, it is tradition that he/she give back to their village. This artist shared his wealth by building a large community building in his village.
Artists are very honored in their culture and is an integral part of their every day life. Frequently we would come across fresh flowers or fruit placed on a bamboo leaf weaving out near a tree or other plant...an offering to the gods in gratitude for their blessings and prayers for more. Sometimes these offerings would be outside a cafe or a home. In the compound where we stayed in Ubud, the house women would make these simple but beautiful offerings all during the day. Bali is an interesting mix of Hindu and Islam with all sorts of rituals to gods and goddesses so much of the art forms are rituals of faith.