SPECIAL ADVISORY: The Yale University Art Gallery is free and open to the public from Tuesday through Sunday. Masks and COVID-19 vaccination (including booster, if eligible) are required.Review our Visitor Policies

Loan Object

Mask (Hudoq)

19th century

Wood with pigment

13 × 10 7/16 × 3 3/4 in. (33 × 26.5 × 9.5 cm)
base: 9 1/16 × 6 1/8 × 15 15/16 in. (23 × 15.5 × 40.5 cm)
Promised gift of Thomas Jaffe, B.A. 1971
Masks are used in many performances and ceremonies in Borneo, although they appear on different occasions in different regions. In western Borneo, where this mask comes from, they are used during circumcision and wedding rituals. Among the Kayan and Kenyah of eastern Borneo, masks are linked with the rice-planting festival, when elaborate performances are staged to ensure a good harvest. In southern Borneo, they traditionally appear as part of funeral ceremonies. Some represent refined human beings, and some depict fantastic animals based on real or imaginary prototypes, such as a boar, hornbill, or dragon.
Made in Borneo, Malaysia
On view
probably Iban
19th century

Ex-collection: K. Watters, Los Angeles; A. Plowright, Paris.


Michael Heppell, Communing with the Dark Side: Borneo’s Masks and Masquerades, 2 (Phillips, Maine: Borneo Research Council, 2015), 88, no. 76, fig. 76.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.