Dance Mask
Karo, Batak, Sumatra
Early 20th Century
Provenance: Philip Goldman, London

Dance masks from the Batak are extremely rare. This one, carved out of wood with leather detailing, would have been used by a shaman during secondary burial dances of important individuals. These mask were typically destroyed after the funerary rights, which is one reason so little survive today. This old example has built up a dark patina, still exuding the powerful presence it was revered for. The artist has taken care to personalize the mask, as it most likely represented a particular individual. The almond shaped eyes, long nose, and open mouth are depicted with bared teeth and protruding tongue.

Height: 13.5 inches
11-13-16 / SOLD


Bruce Frank Primitive Art Gallery   |   208 W 83rd St NYC   |  + 1 (212) 579 359   |