Asmorobangun Padepokan Preserves Topeng Malangan and the Culture in It

Topeng Wayang Malangan (Wayang-shaped cultural mask) is a cultural tradition and religiosity of Malang society. According to the literature, the existence of masks has been known since the period of the oldest kingdom in East Java, the Gajayana kingdom (760 AD) located around Malang. To be precise, this art has emerged since the Mpu Sendok era.

Topeng Malang is slightly different from the types of masks in Indonesia. The pattern has a more realistic wood carving characteristic and depicts the character of a person’s face. Topeng Malang has more various colors compared to masks from other regions. In addition, the ornaments or carvings are also more detailed. 

There are 76 characters  divided into 4 major groups. The first grouping is the figure of Panji with characteristics of a handsome, virtuous and brave young man. The second one is an antagonist figure that matches the pattern of carvings on the masks, such as big round eyes and fangs. The third group is the group of servants or helpers with attractive ornaments on their carvings. The fourth group is animals as a complement to the story. For the ksatria mask, it is equipped with a horn which uses rope to wear it. 

Not only preserved as a sengon wood carved work, the Topeng Malang is also exhibited as a dance art at the Padepokan Asmorobangun. From its establishment until now, Topeng Malang dance performance always tell the romance story of Raden Panji Asmorobangun (Inu Kertapati) with Putri Sekartaji (Candra Kirana) accompanied by Topeng Bapang and Klono. The only art studio exists to this day in preserving the original Malangan culture is Asmorobangun Padepokan or also known as Panji Asmorobangun Padepokan.


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