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Sumatran Batak Mask
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Lot 0349 Details
Batak mask from Sumatra; measures approximately 19" tall; please refer to photographs for condition. The Batak of northern Sumatra wear masks, which are also connected to the cult of the dead and funeral rites. Best known are those from the Toba-Batak group living in the vicinity of Toba Lake and on Samosir island, situated in this lake. The masks take the form of an elongated human face, equally wide from the upper edge down to the mouth. Some of the applied stylistic procedures are reminiscent of the Toraja Pemia masks. Those of the Toba-Batak are made of wood, colored black and slightly convex on the vertical axis. The horizontally-placed almond-shaped eyes are cut through, thus making possible good visibility, and the nose is long and narrow. The mouth is wide, arch-shaped, open and provided with two rows of carved teeth; the corners are uplifted in such a manner that the mask gives the impression of smiling. The arched peripheral line of the chin follows the line of the mouth. Protruding ears are carved at the sides.