The Encoded Cirebon Mask
Materiality, Flow, and Meaning along Java’s Islamic Northwest Coast
Series on Performing Arts and Literature of the Islamicate World, Vol. 2. (Leiden: Brill, 2016)
The Encoded Cirebon Mask traces the evolution of mask culture in Java from its popular entertainment roots to a sophisticated tasawwuf (Sufi) form during the late Dutch colonial era (1880-1942). This book is foundationally concerned with masks and other visual culture in their global context; however, rather than concentrating on diasporas and dispersal, the author focuses on migration flows in one place over time. The book’s themes of history, religion, emotions, and objects are explored through the optic of itinerant Sufi maskers traversing the crowded highway of Dutch colonial commerce and the Chinese, Arab, and Indian traders competing with them on Java’s northwest coast.
This project was supported by a Mellon-funded SSRC (Transregional Research) grant; KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies research fellowship; and the Southeast Asia Program (SEAP) at Cornell University.
The Encoded Cirebon Mask is available from Glocal Matters through Biblio.com. For inquiries about booking engagements within the United States and Canada, contact: encodedcirebonmask(at)gmail(dot)com.