A FINE DAYAK HUDOQ DANCE MASK

Centraal Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia

Ex coll: Philip Goldman, London,

Early 20th century, wood, lead foil and natural pigments, 41 cm

This mask is from the Bahau people, a Dayak sub-group, that lives in the Mahakam River region of Borneo. It is of light wood and represents a composite dragon-hornbill spirit. It would have been worn by a dancer at planting, harvest and similar festivals. Young male dancers wearing such masks and cloaks would enter the village at important times connected with the rice growing cycle and would impersonate the spirits who have come down to earth to bless the harvest, a ritual known as the hudoq. Apertures just below the mask’s ‘eyes’ allowed the dancer to see.

Price on request.