Mask “hudoq”

Object Mask “hudoq”
Culture Bahau Dayak, Borneo
Time Around 1920
Dimensions Height 52 cm,  width 40 cm
Material Wood, rattan basket, pigments, feathers, brass

This hudoq mask above represents a dragon hornbill spirit. It is carved from wood of low weight, the ears are plugged in with wooden plugs. Brass ring earrings are fixed in the ear holes. On her head she carries a woven basket in which various feathers of the hornbill, Argus pheasant and peacock are inserted. The painting is executed in white/red/black pigments.

The eyes are made of engraved brass shells. On both of the lower masks the eyes are made out of mirror glass. Bad spirits turn and leave when facing their own visage and so the mirrors and the polished brass were used to keep them away.

These masks were worn by male dancers at rice festivals and also harvest festivals. The men entered the villages as personified spirits to bless the harvest. As clothing banana leaves are cut into strips and made into capes.

The pig masks are symbolizing the “bad” animals which eat and destroy the harvest, they are also used at the ritual festivities to keep their spirits away.

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