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Bruce Frank Primitive Art
208 W 83rd St NYC
+1 212 579 3596

Dance Mask

Bidayuh Dayak, Sarawak
Early 20th century

Provenance: Irwin Hersey collection, NY, acquired in Kuching in the 1970’s

This striking mask is carved from a lightweight and light colored wood, which has a received, an undercoat of light brown pigment to imitate skin tone. The front of the mask has been over painted in natural white pigment. There are numerous wooden pegs inserted throughout the mask’s surface that held hair, some of which still remains. Small round eye holes pierce through the mask, so that the performer can orient himself. The overall shape of the eyes along with subtle details such as the highlighting in red of the lips and the raised cheekbones, convey a sense of naturalism.

Dance Mask

Bidayuh Dayak, Sarawak
Early 20th century

Provenance: Irwin Hersey collection, NY, acquired in Kuching in the 1970’s

This striking mask is carved from a lightweight and light colored wood, which has a received, an undercoat of light brown pigment to imitate skin tone. The front of the mask has been over painted in natural white pigment. There are numerous wooden pegs inserted throughout the mask’s surface that held hair, some of which still remains. Small round eye holes pierce through the mask, so that the performer can orient himself. The overall shape of the eyes along with subtle details such as the highlighting in red of the lips and the raised cheekbones, convey a sense of naturalism.