The Grotesque Balinese Mask Carved Bone Brown Pendant 40mm x 42mm OOAK

Sold by Indounik
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+ $5.00 shipping
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Preparation takes 3-5 business days
Arrives from Indonesia
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Item details

The Grotesque Balinese Mask carved bone brown pendant is a prime example of the weird, distorted faces that are a common feature of Balinese art and architecture.

Hand-crafted in Bali, it features a male face, and lacks a lower jaw beneath that row of bad teeth, just like some of the lifesize masks worn by Balinese dancers performing in Topeng Panca*. That way, when the dancer moves his lower jaw or speaks, it gives the mask an eerily more lifelike appearance, despite the often malformed features.

Unlike most of the beads and cabs in my shop that were made for me by carvers that I know, this piece was a find. I don't know its provenance so I can't explain what appears to be a glued join across the top of the skull on the back of the piece, as shown in my fourth image.

The join appears to continue only partway across the front, on the top left and right sides, that you can possibly make out in my third and fifth photos. I don't know if the piece was ever broken but I've looked at it under magnification and it doesn't appear that the join or line continues across the front of the forehead. It seems to be sound.

There is a small bail at the top - a continuation of the carving - with a 1.5mm hole.

Grotesque is actually a style of western decorative art characterized by fanciful or fantastic human and animal forms, often interwoven with foliage, or similar figures that may distort the natural into absurdity, ugliness, or caricature.

The term “Grotesque” is simply grotto-esque, being literally the style of art found in the grottos or baths of the ancients.

However, the Balinese certainly have their own form of Grotesque art and that's what I'm seeking to reflect in this piece.

The piece you are purchasing is the one shown in these photos - a one of a kind piece (OOAK).

PAYPAL is my preferred method of payment. Don't have it? You can still pay that way using your credit card. Just click on the PayPal icon at checkout and follow the prompts.

Size: Approx 40mm (L) x 42mm (W) - 1.57 inches (L) x 1.65in (W)
Thickness: Approx 5-7mm
Weight: Approx 12 grams
Pieces per pack: 1 - the piece you see in my photos
Colour: Brown
Material: Bovine Bone - cow bone - carved front side only, drilled vertically through the top of the head and out beneath the chin. The bone used in Indounik products is sourced from the neighbouring Indonesian island of Java where it is a bi-product of the meat industry.
Shipping: This item will ship from Bali via Pos Indonesia registered mail with a tracking number, and you will almost certainly have to sign for it upon delivery. It will be well packaged to protect it, and the cost of the pack is included in my shipping fee. Please see my shop policies for more details.
Extra info: I've used the term "funny face" for other beads in this range that are are not so grotesque in their appearance and you can find those listings here -

Bali is an island of paradoxes where balance is largely maintained between good and evil by the unending cycle of offerings that the Balinese make to their gods and demons.

And where there is incredible beauty in art and architecture, you'll also find the downright grotesque.

For much of 2006, I lived in a little house in the ricefields north of Ubud, Bali' art and culture capital. On the walls surrounding the house and in the stone walls of my fishpond there were a series of weird distorted faces.

But I wasn't repelled by them. On the contrary. I found them endearing.

Most mornings, I'd rise about dawn and go for a walk along my road, in full view of Gunung Agung, the island's most sacred mountain.

My main mission was to collect flowers, mostly red hibiscus, to put behind the ears of all those crazy characters who inhabited my little patch of paradise.

That's so they would continue to guard me from leyaks and other evil spirits that might want to venture over those walls.

* The modern (late 19th century) Balinese dance Topeng Panca is a masked dance for five performers. Topeng is the Javanese word for mas and panca means five. Many different masks may be used, ranging from kings to clowns and even deformed people.

"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." ~ Confucius


Sorry but at this time I am not able to take on custom orders

Sorry but at this time I am not able to take on custom orders

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Shipping & policies
Preparation takes 3-5 business days
Arrives from Indonesia
Estimated Shipping
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Estimated shipping times
North America 2-3 weeks
Europe 2-3 weeks
Australia, New Zealand and Oceania 2-3 weeks
Asia Pacific 2-3 weeks
Latin America and the Caribbean 2-4 weeks
I'll do my best to meet these shipping estimates, but cannot guarantee them. Actual delivery time will depend on the shipping method you choose.
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Returns & exchanges
I gladly accept returns, exchanges, and cancellations
Contact me within: 14 days of delivery
Ship items back within: 21 days of delivery
Request a cancellation within: 6 hours of purchase
The following items can't be returned or exchanged
Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:
  • Custom or personalized orders
  • Digital downloads
Conditions of return
Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value.
Questions about your order?
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