TITLE: Yao Shaman Mask
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Asia
COUNTRY: China
SUBREGION: Yunnan
ETHNICITY: Yao
DESCRIPTION: Shamanic Mask
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Shamanic rituals
FUNCTION: healing; hunting; protection; spirit invocation
AGE: ca. 1910s
MAIN MATERIAL: charred wood
OTHER MATERIALS: N/A

The Yao people inhabit southern China and northern Vietnam, with small enclaves in Thailand, Burma, and Laos. They have syncretic Daoist and animist religious beliefs. Yao shamans use wooden masks to invoke god spirits for protection or successful hunting expeditions. Shamans may also use the masks to heal the sick.