15 Properties of Mask Dance, the Meaning Behind It, History, and its Types!

Properties of the Mask dance – Mask dance is a traditional dance from West Java, Cirebon to be precise. This dance is called the dancer as a dance that uses a mask. Uniquely, each mask worn by dancers has a different character. Interesting right?
Then, what kind of property must exist in this dance performance? Let’s learn more about the Mask dance properties!

Mask Dance Property

Here are 15 properties of the Mask dance and their explanations. Listen carefully, okay!

1. Mask

As the name implies, namely the Mask dance, it is clear that this dance will of course be related to or use masks. The mask itself is an object that is used on the face and functions to cover the original face of the mask user. Of course, this one property cannot be missed and must be present in every mask dance performance.

The masks used themselves are made of plastic or wood. Even so, the masks that we often see are those made of engraved wood. There are various kinds of masks used, such as masks with human face characters, or masks of famous figures.

There are several ways to use this mask, one of which is by wearing a rope tied to the back of the head. Meanwhile, another way is to bite the rubber or special pads that are behind the mask. The red mask is the one most often used in the Mask dance.

2. Short sleeve brackets

Typical Malay traditional clothing, such as in Indonesia, Malaysia, to Brunei Darussalam, including the baju kuning. This one shirt is a typical shirt, which has a loose design on the armholes, chest and stomach.

The bracketed shirt is a type of shirt that is parallel to the groin or knee when worn. This traditional dress also has another characteristic, which is that it has no buttons and no collar, but each end is laced. There are plain and patterned clothes on the brackets, and most of them have long sleeves.

Even so, the Mask dance uses a baju kuning as an undergarment, and the baju kuning that is chosen is the one with short sleeves. This aims to strengthen and reinforce the impression of movement from the dancer’s hands.
There are also motifs and golden thread lace on the sleeves. The dancers generally use red clothes or other colors that are no less striking.

3. Monkron

The chest cover or mongkron is a cloth used by dancers to cover their chests. This property can be in the form of embroidered shirt brackets or batik cloth. Usually, mongkron have a golden or red color, and are decorated with gold or silver thread embroidery.

The mongkron decoration has embroidery that depends on the local culture of the people who dance this dance. Not surprisingly, each region has its own form of mongkron. Some are square, some are triangular or round.

4. Sampur

Sampur is one of the properties of the mask dance. It is in the form of a long piece of cloth wrapped around the dancer’s neck. Usually, the sampur used is brightly colored, such as red, green, or yellow. This property is used as one part of the dance movement.

The use of sampur on the neck, namely with the tip tucked into the middle finger of the dancer. So, the sampur will also move when the dancer’s hands move according to the rhythm. The use of the sampur property itself aims to create a firm and graceful impression on the movement.

Sinaumed’s, there is also a sampur that is tied to the dancer’s waist.

5. One-third bracket pants

The clothes of the brackets are worn by the dancers, namely the brackets, which are a third of the foot long. Loose pants and the length just below the knee dancers are worn. Pants also do not have a pattern and flashy colors, for example red.

Embroidered ornaments and golden threads can be seen at the hem of the pants. Meanwhile, the use of one-third loose pants has the goal of facilitating the dancer’s movements.

6. Cloth Cover

There is a cloth covering the clothes of the Mask dancers. This cover cloth is worn by wrapping it around the waist to the top of the dancer’s thighs. Generally, the cloth used is batik in the same color as the baju kuning. Its function, namely as a decoration pants.

7. Chopsticks

The accessory that dancers wear over their ears is called sumping. This one property is worn by tucking it in the ear, either the right or the left. Its function is to add firmness to the dancer’s movements. In general, chopsticks have a golden color and what dancers use are the same as those used by wayang uwong actors.

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8. Crown

The headdress worn by the Mask dancer is called a crown. The crown used must be in accordance with the character played by the dancer. Usually, the crown is black with gold embroidery.

9. Beanie

The beanie is a head covering made of cloth, and is often used to cover the head. Apart from being used in general, there are also skullcaps for Mask dancers, Sinaumed’s. Usually, the beanie used is black with various accessories.

10. Earrings

On the ears, dancers also wear earrings besides chopsticks. The earrings are worn in both dancers’ ears. Generally, the earrings used are given colorful pendants.
There are long and short earrings that can be used by dancers. Meanwhile, the colors are chosen based on striking colors, such as yellow, green, and red. The purpose of choosing this color is to symbolize joy and joy.

11. Belt

The dancers use a belt in the form of a cloth that is looped. The goal, namely as a barrier to the clothes used. Not only that, this belt can also add to the beauty of the entire costume worn by dancers.

The belt is chosen based on a bright color, such as yellow, blue or green. Not only that, another function of the belt is as a place to tuck the keris worn by dancers.

12. Kris

The typical weapon used by the Javanese is called a keris. This property can also be used as an accessory for mask dancers. In contrast to the function of the original keris, the property of the keris in the Mask dance functions as a costume decoration.

The keris used describes the status of authority, chivalry, nobility, and strength. In particular, noble figures are indeed the figures in the mask dance that are commonly played. So, a keris would be very suitable as an impression enhancer.

13. Wrist Bracelet

Dancers use wristbands made of gold-colored paper, metal or cloth. The function of using this bracelet is to enhance the beauty of the dancer’s appearance.

14. Anklet

Not only wearing bracelets, the dancers of the Mask dance also wear anklets which have their own impression and meaning. Meanwhile, this anklet is made of cloth or metal. Usually, anklets are made of cloth and decorated with golden thread embroidery.

The usual red color was chosen to be the color of the anklet. However, according to the desired variation, other colors can also be used.

15. Ronce Flowers

The accessory that is worn on the crown of the Topeng dancer is called a flower ronce. This property is that the flower strands are arranged, thus forming long earrings. Jasmine flower is the flower used for this property, and the flower ronce itself can also be made from yellow or red pendulum.

Musical Accompaniment

This is the musical instrument used to play the music that accompanies the Topeng dance, namely:
Saron one pangkon.

  • Kiwul, Sabet, Telon, into three gongs.
  • Bonang one pangkon.
  • Title one pangkon.
  • A set of Kecrek Tools.
  • Kenong one pangkon.
  • Tap on a pangkon.
  • One pangkon clan.
  • Jenglong one pangkon.
  • Two Fruit Keanak two fruit.
  • A set of drums consisting of Ketiping, Gendung and Kepyang.

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History of Mask Dance

Cirebon Mask Dance originally appeared in the 10th to 16th century AD, namely during the Jenggal Kingdom whose government was led by Prabu Amiluhur or Prabu Panji Dewa. Uniquely, this dance entered Cirebon through street artists.

It was there that a cultural blend was formed that eventually gave birth to the typical Cirebon Mask Dance. This dance art was also influenced by the entry of Islam. Precisely in 1470, during the time of Sunan Gunung Jati, Cirebon became the center of the spread of Islam. Mask Dance was also used by Sunan Gunung Jati as a medium to introduce Islam.

The use of this mask dance is carried out with other arts such as Gamelan Renteng, Shadow Puppet, Reog, Brai, Angklung, to Berokan.

During the reign of Sunan Gunung Jati in 1479, attacks from Prince Welang and Karawang who were very powerful came. In fact, his supernatural powers made Sunan Gunung Jati, Sunan Kalijaga, and Prince Cakrabuana unable to fight him. In order to end the conflict, diplomacy about art emerges.

It was the results of this diplomacy that eventually created a dance group with Nyi Mas Gandasari as the group’s dancer.

Prince Welang then fell in love with the dancer and finally handed over the Curug Sewu sword, which made his supernatural powers disappear. After surrendering, Prince Welang became a loyal follower of Sunan Gunung Jati and eventually changed his name to Prince Graksan.

This traditional dance was then widely known as the Cirebon Mask Dance , which is a traditional dance and developed into five different types of dance, namely the Tumenggung Mask Dance, the Kelana Mask Dance, the Samba Mask Dance, the Rumyang Mask Dance, and the Panji Mask Dance.

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The five types of Mask dance are different dances, known as Panca Wanda.

Mask Dance Movement

The dancers in the Mask dance make movements that follow the type of mask they use. Movements in the form of signals between movement and silence will be performed for dancers wearing Panji Masks. This mask means the age of someone who is still a baby or has just been born.

Meanwhile, the dancer will dance according to the character for a wise person, if he wears the Tumenggung Mask. If Jia wears the Mask of the Wanderer, the dancer must portray someone who has evil qualities.

The Meaning of Mask Dance According to the Region

Sinaumed’s, let’s look at the explanation regarding the meaning of the Mask dance according to the region below!

1. Dayak masks

The Dayak tribe in the area of ​​Borneo Island, uses masks in the Hudoq dance which is often played in religious ceremonies by the Dayak Bahau and Modang ethnic groups. The purpose of this dance is to gain strength in overcoming pest disturbances, and to hope that fertility will be given to many plants.

The black, white, and red masks will be the masks used. They symbolize the forces of nature, which will bring water and protect plants to grow in certain seasons.

2. Balinese masks

Balinese society and the existence of masks are closely related to Hindu religious ceremonies. Because, this is the result of art in society and religion. Balinese Mask Dance itself is a tradition that is thick with magical rituals and is generally performed in the community.

3. Cirebon mask

Sinaumed’s, it is the Cirebon Mask Dance that we are discussing in this article. Cirebon Mask Dance is the art of mask dance that developed in Cirebon.

4. Malang Mask

Mask dance art from Malang, East Java, is Malang Mask. Usually, this story comes from the Panji story which tells the romantic story of Raden Panji Asmoro Banung and Putri Sekartaji.

5. Reog Mask

Did you know that Reog Ponorogo also includes mask dance? This Reog Ponorogo dance certainly comes from Ponorogo.

6. Ireng Mask

The traditional form of art that has been assimilated into the local culture of Central Java is Topeng Ireng. This is also known as the art of empowerment, a new creation of folk dance which is the result of the metamorphosis of Kubro Siswo’s art.

Types of Mask Dance

Mask Dance generally has five roles performed by different masks. Each mask will have its own image and character in terms of color and shape. This is an explanation of the five types of masks in the Mask dance:

1. Panji Mask

The depiction of someone who is in a holy condition and has just been born into this world, can be seen in the Panji Mask Dance. The movement of this dance is very soft and smooth. The use of the mask also has a combined meaning of the essence of motion and the essence of silence.

2. Samba Mask

People who are entering their childhood phase are depicted through the Samba Mask. The movements of this dance are so cute and beautiful, in accordance with their function to play and represent children. The Samba Mask Dance has adorable behavior just like a child!

3. Rumyang Mask

Rumyang mask also has its own meaning, just like the other mask dances above. The image of someone who has entered the world of youth comes from the Rumyang Mask dance. The dancers of the Rumyang Mask Dance will bring a movement that contains the message that humans as a whole should do good.

4. Tumenggung Mask

The image of a virtuous and assertive person emanates from the Tumenggung Mask dance. This mask carries a character that gives messages about personality and personality with high fidelity to everyone.

5. Nomad’s Mask

The Kelana Mask has a different meaning from the other masks. In fact, this type of mask will describe someone who is angry and angry. The role played by the Topeng Kelana dancer is an antagonist or evil character. Even though he plays an evil character, this mask also teaches a lesson that humans should try to get happiness and life in a good way.

I Love Indonesia Series: Mask Dance Performance


By studying the mask dance and preserving the nation’s culture, the art of mask dance can continue to exist and keep abreast of the times. Today, everything is modern, but that doesn’t mean that traditional culture has to be abandoned. What’s more, for the young generation who are full of enthusiasm, you should continue to preserve Indonesian culture so that it does not fade and does not disappear.

Sinaumed’s, you can find various collections of books related to art knowledge, including dance and other arts by visiting the sinaumedia.com website, the largest online bookstore site in Indonesia. You will also find the best promos and offers that you don’t want to miss!

Come on, read more books and become #MoreWithReading .

Author: Sevilla Nouval Evanda

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