Indonesia,  Oceania

Dayak hudoq mask

From the Dayak people of the Kalimantan portion of Borneo, the mask is a classical style hudoq depicting a mythical boar, bird and dragon; the face painted in red, white and black, with attached ears, the lobes with remains of fiber cord that once held pendant ear decorations. It is 25 inches high and has never been used. It came from the Cobbs Auctioneers, a company that often comes up with high-quality masks that are not terribly expensive.

Can someone explain why a mask of this quality would be antiqued on the front and not the rear?


  • Chris

    Is it really antiqued on the front? The slight shine may just come from some touching hands of people who look at it and handle it. I would not judge it right-out as artificially/purposefully antiqued.

  • Bob Ibold

    I’m inclined to agree with you. It certainly looks like it was made for use, rather than the tourist trade. Also, it could have been worn in cool weather.

  • Vic

    These masks are used in October during the harvest festival. This one may or may not have been used. My guess is that it was used once and sold. The Indonesian or Malay dealers will dirty up these masks to make them more appealing on the collectors market. The crossed circle on the ears indicates that it was made by Wang Beng. He is a Modang carver in his 60s. There is a recent book on his masks. It is possible that another carver used his mark, but they would have likely been a Dayak from the same area. It is an authentic contemporary mask.

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