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Bruce Frank Primitive Art
New York City, NY
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Dance Mask

Simalungun Batak, Sumatra, Indonesia
19th-early 20th century

Provenance: Private UK collection
In the past, mask dances were often performed during funeral ceremonies. According to Achim Sibeth in his publication The Batak, after the dance ceremony these masks were kept in a small spirit house erected over the grave. It is assumed the masks kept evil spirits away and aided the soul of the deceased on its journey to the land of the dead. A very similar example can be found in the collections of the Linden Museum, Stuttgart, and it’s illustrated in The Batak, fig. 73b.

Dance Mask

Simalungun Batak, Sumatra, Indonesia
19th-early 20th century

Provenance: Private UK collection
In the past, mask dances were often performed during funeral ceremonies. According to Achim Sibeth in his publication The Batak, after the dance ceremony these masks were kept in a small spirit house erected over the grave. It is assumed the masks kept evil spirits away and aided the soul of the deceased on its journey to the land of the dead. A very similar example can be found in the collections of the Linden Museum, Stuttgart, and it’s illustrated in The Batak, fig. 73b.

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