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Ceremonial dance mask (hudoq)

19th century-20th century


Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Other Title
    Ceremonial dance mask (hudoq) representing Naling Ledaang
    Place where the work was made
    Upper Mahakam river region Kalimantan Borneo Indonesia
    Cultural origin
    Bahau or Busang
    19th century-20th century
    Media category
    Ceremonial object
    Materials used
    wood, pigment and rattan
    48 x 49.3 x 26.5 cm overall :

    a - mask with attached wing shaped ears, 36.5 x 49.3 x 26.5 cm

    b - hat, 16 x 19.5 cm

    c - tusk, 14.5 x 3 cm

    d - tusk, 13.8 x 3 cm

    Christopher Worrall Wilson Bequest 2010
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

  • About

    "Hudoq’ masks like this exceptional example were made and worn by the Bahau and Busang people of Central Borneo to channel rice deities and
    ancestors during key moments of the rice life cycle. Cloaked entirely in swathes of banana or ‘pinang’ leaves, the male wearer of the effigy, with
    its distinctive protruding nose and chin, and bared lips exposing fierce teeth and fangs, would have been transformed into a manifestation of the deity Naling Ledang. Along with three other deities – Miyoq Laang, Hiraang Lejau Midaang and Ding Durung – Naling Ledang is believed to descend
    from the heavenly realm of Apu Lagaan to bless and protect crops, ensure that rice paddy spirits are appropriately appeased, and bestow fertility on women.

    Ornamented with distinctive red, white and black scrollwork, the mask retains its characteristic wing-like ears, a woven rattan cap and the hornlike earplugs worn by men throughout the region. In addition to these striking accessories, the mask would have been adorned with pendulous
    ear ornaments and large black and white hornbill feathers.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • Glorious, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 May 2017–06 Jan 2019

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

  • Provenance

    Nomadic Rug Traders, pre 2004, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, purchased in Bali, Indonesia.

    Mariann Ford, 2004-Dec 2010, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, purchased from Nomadic Rug Traders (art dealership). Gift to the Art Gallery of New South Wales as part of the Christopher Worrall Wilson Bequest 2010.