TITLE: Iban Shaman Mask
TYPE: mask
GENERAL REGION: Oceania
COUNTRY: Malaysia
SUBREGION: Borneo (Sarawak)
ETHNICITY: Dayak (Iban)
DESCRIPTION: Shaman Mask
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Unknown
FUNCTION: Agriculture; Purification
AGE: 1930s
MAIN MATERIAL: wood
OTHER MATERIALS: natural pigment

Not much is known about the masked ceremonies of the Iban people of Sarawak, Borneo Island. This mask dates to the 1930s, possibly earlier, and represents a demon.  It has affinities to the masks of other Dayak peoples elsewhere on Borneo. Such masks were most probably used to drive away evil spirits from the village during important ceremonies, such as funerals, and from crop fields.

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TITLE: Mah Meri Moyang Jantong
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Asia
COUNTRY: Malaysia
ETHNICITY: Orang Asli (Senoi)
DESCRIPTION: Moyang Jantong (Banana Plant Spirit) Mask
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Celebration; Spirit Invocation
AGE: 1970s
MAIN MATERIAL: blackboard wood
OTHER MATERIALS: metal; cotton string

The Mah Meri tribe belongs to the Senoi people, one of the indigenous peoples (Orang Asli) of Malaysia. They have traditionally carved masks from the wood of the blackboard tree (Alstonia scholaris) for use in celebrating festive occasions, such as weddings. The masks embody benevolent spirits that, in the animistic pantheon of the Mah Meri, are used to drive away evil, soul-stealing spirits.  This mask, Moyang Jantong, represents the spirit of the banana plant, an important source of food to the Mah Meri.

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TITLE: Mah Meri Moyang Kuhau
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Asia
COUNTRY: Malaysia
ETHNICITY: Orang Asli (Senoi)
DESCRIPTION: Moyang Kuhau
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Celebration; Spirit Invocation
AGE: 1970s
MAIN MATERIAL: blackboard wood
OTHER MATERIALS: metal; cotton string

The Mah Meri tribe belongs to the Senoi people, one of the indigenous peoples (Orang Asli) of Malaysia. They have traditionally carved masks from the wood of the blackboard tree (Alstonia scholaris) for use in celebrating festive occasions, such as weddings. The masks embody benevolent spirits that, in the animistic pantheon of the Mah Meri, are used to drive away evil, soul-stealing spirits.  This mask, Moyang Kuhau, represents the spirit of a natural spring or well, an important source of fresh water to the Mah Meri.

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