Timor Mask with Paddle Handle from West Timor
Measures 24cm long (28cm with stand) by 10.5cm wide by 2.5cm deep
Highland Atoni People Amanatun District West Timor mid to late 20th Century rosewood ptreocarpus indicus
Weight 993 grams
Comes with display stand
Will have blemishes due to antique nature, but in overall very good condition.
We sourced selection of hand carved wooden masks from West Timor between 20cm and 30cm tall.
Created in the Amanatun District during the early to mid 20th century.
Still made today using little more than a pen knife and a machete these masks serve to remind us how real the links to the past are within tribal existence.
These are saught after by collectors and museums alike.
The island of Timor gave rise to a distinctive tradition (or traditions) of dance masks whose precise origins and significance remain uncertain. . Portraying both male and female ancestors, they were worn by men during dances and other ceremonies, including celebrations of victory in war.
When in use, the masks were typically painted and adorned with strips of hide or bristles representing facial hair and worn with a headdress or a hood that covered the head, further concealing the dancer’s identity.
True to the West Timorese Animist tradition the masks that come to us are unaffected by the world outside the villages and kampongs.
Each one an original, as individual as the carver.
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 repels anyone with evil intent and allowing 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 the ones that were made before you found them and these are the masks considered to have the greatest magic..
we have more tribal antiques and crafts from Timor and beyond.