TITLE: Mah Meri Moyang Jantong
TYPE: face mask
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.