Lot 48 - Trans-Himalayan Wooden Tribal Mask, Nepal, Iron Oxide Patina

ca. 1900
10 x 8 x 3 ins
Notes: Red patina, adzing marks verso. The mask has been blackened and cured by the wood smoke from fire, but has taken on a red oxide tone.

A hardwood Himalayan mask from the Nepal middle hills region. Deep patina, features strong primitive features.

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Authentic, well carved old Himalayan masks are now recognized as equal companions of the great masking traditions of other continents, including Africa. Due to inherent scarcity, civil strife and devastating earthquakes in recent years, quality pieces have become increasingly rare and difficult to source. This piece was purchased directly from the artist in Nepal in the 1960's and has been in storage since then, hence the piece is in excellent condition.

Nepalese and Tibetan Masks are one of the symbols that better represent the culture and traditions of people living in the Himalayan region. The ritual of wearing masks is very old and it comes from animists Himalayan tribes used to worship spirits of nature and guardians of these majestic mountains.Himalayan Masks

The Shamans of these tribes used to wear masks during rituals they use to perform in order to protect the village, heal diseases, practice exorcisms or other purposes. Masks supposedly had a very important functions in the social life of these community as they were used also during theatrical representations and ceremonies dedicated to ancestors.

Hindu and Buddhist cultures, that became dominant in the surrounding regions, slowly replaced the myths of this shamanic cult. However some of the old costumes survived. Even spirits and demons were adopted by the Buddhist tradition and some of them became wrathful protectors of the Buddhist doctrine.

http://traditionalartofnepal.com/the-fascinating-history-of-himalayan-masks/

Lot Name
Trans-Himalayan Wooden Tribal Mask, Nepal, Iron Oxide Patina,
Media
wood
Size
10 x 8 x 3 ins
Date
ca. 1900
Estimate
$150 - $200

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