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Loan Object


19th century

Wood with pigment

14 3/16 × 11 13/16 × 2 3/4 in. (36 × 30 × 7 cm)
base: 4 15/16 × 4 15/16 × 13 in. (12.5 × 12.5 × 33 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, 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 boars, hornbills, or dragons.
Made in Borneo, Malaysia
On view
probably Kayan
19th century

Ex-collection: S. Alpert, Dallas; A. Plowright, Paris; J. Sadovnic, Bali.

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.