A selection of handcarved wooden masks from East and West Timor between 15cm/6" and 30cm/12" tall.
Still made today using little more than a pen knife and a machette these masks serve to remind us how real the links to the past are within tribal existence. True to the West Timorese Animist tradition the masks that come to us are unaffected by the world outside the villages and kampongs. Each one an original, as individual as their carvers.
Timorese masks fall into 3 main categories. Those made with paddle handles that are used to 'hide' ones face when raiding a neighbour in times of hunger. Those made to be placed inside the hut above the front entrance that repel anyone with evil intent and allow people of good intent to pass through the doorway and also used by Atoni men to 'put on a face' when dancing.
As a fellow field collector says " and then there are those that find you".
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