Skip to content

Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information




Asian art

View More:


Ceremonial dance mask (hudoq)

19th century-20th century


Unknown Artist


"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.


Other Title

Ceremonial dance mask (hudoq) representing Naling Ledaang

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


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history

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


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.

Referenced in 1 publication


Niki van den Heuvel, Ancestral art of the Indonesian archipelago, Sydney, 2017, 36 (colour illus.).