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Early 20th C. Nepalese Wooden Festival Mask

Central Asia, Nepal, ca. early 20th century CE. A beautiful and expressive festival mask, hand-carved from hard wood, with an elongated visage comprised of openwork eyes, a prominent aquiline nose with drilled nostrils, and an ovoid mouth; the temples are drilled for suspension. The Himalayan masking tradition is not as well-known as those from Africa or Southeastern Asia, and today some of the original information has been lost due to fading oral traditions. Masks like this example relate to indigenous, animist traditions that developed in the harsh, wild environment of the Himalayas, and so they are often representations of local spirits. They were made to be worn in masquerades, glimpsed through light from lamps burning butter as oil. Covered in a dark-brown patina, this is a fantastic example! Custom museum-quality display stand included. Size: 5.75" W x 9.5" H (14.6 cm x 24.1 cm); 13.125" H (33.3 cm) on included custom stand.

Condition: Expected age-commensurate surface wear, small chips to nose, chin, and peripheries, with some discoloration, otherwise intact and excellent. Nice earthen deposits as well as dark-brown patina throughout.

Provenance: private Los Angeles, California, USA collection, acquired at World Arts Auction, Brussels, Belgium

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