India & Himalayas

Primitive Nepalese mask

Q: I have a nice old mask that I’m not sure of origin. I have an idea that it comes from Timor, but something also pointing in the direction of Himalaya. What do Mask of the world think? I hope you can and will help. Thanks in advance! Data: High 24cm. wide 15cm. depth 10 cm. Hardwood and hair. Looks like human hair, but not sure. Provenance: I bought a collection of old Greenlandic artifacts, which included this. Jan, 1623

A: The appearance of Timorese masks is sometimes confused with old Himalayan examples. With the hair and black, shiny color of the mask, I’ll go with rural Nepal or someplace West, North or East of Kathmandu. Because of your experience with material from the Arctic areas of the world I think you may be correct about its authenticity. It’s condition is excellent, in fact it looks like it was made quite recently. A

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