In what became known to me as the year of the square mask, 2003 found some interesting variations on the traditional Timorese mask. This is a wonderful example that is almost Picassoesq in its design. Flat with ears and facial features defined by being slightly raised. Highly polished and finished using siri and lime powder and polishing with a wild boars tusk.
Red cedarwood/kiyu merah.
27cm high x 23cm wide x 2cm deep.
10.75" high x 9" wide x .9" deep.
Handcarved using the simplest of tools from wood, bone, coral and coconut 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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All items have been treated to AQIS standards.