East Asia

The Dayak people’s favorite

Hudoq mask
Hudoq mask

Q:  I found this mask in a Chinese junk shop in Miri Borneo. I believe it to be pretty old but don’t know the story behind it. What or who does this represent. 16″ H, 11″ W.  Scott, 647

A:  It is from Borneo and is called a Hudoq mask. They are made all over Borneo by the indigenous Dayak people. These masks represent the spirit of different animals and human demons, all with the power to protect the villagers. The large ear panels and elaborate designs are typical, but there can be many differences because there are lots of different Dayak sub-cultures in the large island of Borneo. I have not seen one like this. They are almost always painted in colors. This unusual version of the Hudoq could be from tribal people close to Miri. (That’s just a guess.)

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