While I was visiting the National Museum of Indonesia, I noticed that most of the statues and masks on display were a bit scary to look at, even those supposed to be for decoration or entertainment.

Instead of having the pictures sitting on my computer, I'm writing this post that I hope will make you want to visit the Museum. It is just 5 minutes away from Plaza Indonesia and it does not even costs a dollar to get in.

Here are 11 spooky Indonesian statues and masks. Please comment if I made a mistake in the explanations as I am not a specialist on the topic.

Patung Obler / Obler Statue

This woman statue from Maluku was used to pay respects to the deceased and to serve as a medium of communication between the living and the dead.

Patung Nenek Moyang Korwar (Ancestor Statue)

This status from Cendrawasih Bay in North Papua serves as a mediator between a family and a deceased. It also protects from dark spirits.

Miniature Barong Landung "Jero Gede"

This is an effigy of the Barong Landung "Jero Gede", a favourite figure among the Balinese.

Giant Guard Statue

This is considered to be a guard statue from the 14th Century, East Java.

Ancestor Statue (Papua)

This ancestor statue made from wood, skull, beads and cloth is from Papua and provides protection from the evil spirits.

Bodres Mask

Painted on wood, Balinese Bondres masks depict characters with some sort of disfigurements such as a harelip, a lack of teeth or crossed eyes.

Topeng Buto Cakil (Java)

This mask has giant features and symbolizes greed.

Topeng Jauk (Bali)

This mask is used by dancers to open a Barong Ket performance.

Mrgayawati Carving

This is the detail of the wall carving of a bathing place from Mojokerto, East Java. It depicts a character from the Mrgayawati story.

Topeng Sidhakarya (Bali)

This mask is used during the religious Panjengan performances. This character appears at the end to recite prayers and incantations.

Semar Pottery (Cirebon, West Java)

Semar is a well known figure who has the appearance of a clown but is in fact wise and spirited (photo from the Museum Wayang).

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