M690 – C1960


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SKU: M690 Category:


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A classic example of a Timorese mask with its protruding eyebrow ridge which blends into its nose. The artist has added ears to great effect and allowed the natural shape of the timber shape the pointed chin and completed this characteristic piece with expressive eyes.

The deeply burnished effect has come from years of storage inside the smoky beehive-shaped hut called UMEKubu. The timber is redwood and would have initially been created by rubbing the raw timber with siri spears dipped in lime powder sanding it with young teak leaves then polishing with a wild boars tusk.

Hand carved from the village of Tetaf in central West Timor. Estimated age C1960. Well aged redwood timber.

23cm / 9.25″ tall

15cm /  6″ wide

220gr / 7.6oz.

Postage is additional. See Zz Freight A at the bottom of categories list to find out postage costs to you. You are welcome to combine purchases to maximise your shipping. Insurance and registered mail are additional.

The History of the Timorese MASK

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. True to the West Timorese Animist tradition the masks that come to us are unaffected by the world outside the villages and kampongs. Each mask is an original, as individual as their carver’s.

Handcarved using the simplest of tools from wood, bone, coral and coconut 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”.

All items have been treated to AQIS standards.


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