TITLE: Mah Meri Moyang Kuhau
TYPE: face mask
COUNTRY: Malaysia
ETHNICITY: Orang Asli (Senoi)
DESCRIPTION: Moyang Kuhau (natural spring 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 Kuhau, represents the spirit of a natural spring or well, an important source of fresh water to the Mah Meri.