Tag Archives: Dancing

BACK IN HOLLAND + CIREBON MASK

Cirebon_Mask

We’re back in Holland! Still a bit jet-lagged but at least we took the sun with us!

Last week Ade started working again and his first customer requested to do a traditional Cirebon dancing-mask. Masks are used during important dancing rituals in Indonesia for over a thousand years. Sometimes the mask dance can be performed by solo dancers, or it can also be performed by several people. Masks are used to create more than the character in a drama. Graceful hand and body movements, and accompaniment by the music of a Gamelan, are hallmarks of Javanese mask dance. The dance is performed on special occasions for local officials, or for other traditional celebrations. The Topeng, is a performance which enacts stories from the times of the old Balinese and Javanese kingdoms and creates a link with the ancestor world. The three types of masks used in these dramas are; humans, animals, and demons.The powerful lines of a mask catch the light with a greater impact than that of a human face alone, and the stability of the mask’s features has an intensity stronger than that of a human expression. The masks are almost always carved from wood, mask makers combine different materials like boar’s teeth, horsehair, jewels, gold leaf, Chinese coins, buffalo hide, rabbit pelts, and mirrors. The glossy effect is created by endless sanding and at least 40 coats of paint.

Underneath here you can see a small video of a traditional Cirebon mask dance:

 

 

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GANESHA

 

Ganesha_Aida

 

A while ago Ade finished a back-piece on Michelle. To explain the meaning of the Ganesha in one sentence is technically seen impossible. The story behind ‘Lord Ganesh’, the famous Hindu Elephant God, is so complex that there’s not only one way of explaining it.

I will try to tell you a little bit more about this famous religious figure, found mostly in India. Ganesha, also called Ganesh or Ganapanti Tantra is seen as the biggest deity of Hinduism, a deity with a head of a elephant. He is the God of wisdom and knowledge, takes away obstacles in life and he is the protector of travellers. Hindu’s pray to Ganesha before they start something new, like a new job or moving out to a new house. Ganesha is the son of Shiva and Parvati. He is mostly portrayed with and mouse or a rat, named Mushika, as his ‘Vahana’ (vehicle).

When Ganesh was still very young, he wanted to be left alone and preferred to spend his time wandering around by himself. Because of that reason and because of the fact that Shiva had started a war, Shiva never had the opportunity to really get to know his son. After years and years of battle’s Shiva returned to Parvati and Ganesh. When he arrived at the house he saw an intruder. And because he was so incredibly sanguineous he instantly decapitated the intruder. But he didn’t see that the intruder was  actually his own son! He didn’t recognize Ganesh on the first sight because Shiva never really been close to him. Because Shiva felt devastated  he commended his servants to bring him the head of the first creature they would see alive. After a short period of time they returned with the cut-off head of an elephant. Shiva put the head of the elephant on the lifeless body of his son and Ganesha directly rose from the death and entered history as a half-god with the head of an elephant.

There are many different appearances of Ganesh, every time shown with different attributes. In the case of this tattoo, a key (client’s wish), a lotus and a plate with candy. Mostly Ganesha is portrayed with a big, bare belly and a rose-orange skin, a rat sitting next to his feet and off course an elephant head. Sometimes Ganesha has an symbol between his eye’s and trunk which looks like the number ‘3’, similar to the symbol of Om or Aum; the sound of the vibration out of which the universe was created.

Ganesha is also seen as the one who wrote down the Mahabharata (One of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India). And anywhere in India you will find statues of him which they believe will help travellers to make the decision which way they need to go. Ganesha is always symbolizing the start of something, the first impulse.

 

 

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