Clustered here are a selection of Masks that have been created by the living artists of Timor. They are 'large' masks starting at 31cm/12" tall.
Using age old techniques and tools that have not changed much in the last 400 years the creators of these works of art have imbibed much of the Timorese spirit of independence and self sufficiency in to each unique piece. True to the West Timorese Animist tradition the masks that come to us are unaffected by the world outside the villages and kampongs.
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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