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Antique Himalayan Female Shaman Mask.  28 x 17 x 12cm (11 x 6.5 x 4.5 inches)

Antique Himalayan Female Shaman Mask

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Antique Himalayan Female Shaman Mask.  28 x 17 x 12cm (11 x 6.5 x 4.5 inches)

 

This interesting and unusual antique Himalayan mask (circa 1800s) was purchased from a Tibetan antique dealer in Kathmandu, Nepal, in the mid 1980s.

 

The mask is carved in heavy hardwood and is thought to represent a female shaman with metal facial ornamentation including a star-shaped nose stud, a nose ring and earrings.  Nose rings are a common feature of the Tamang people but the origin of this mask is uncertain due to the random way such objects are collected and traded.

 

The forehead has 3 carved lines which may represent tribal markings, and there are several deliberately gauged holes on the top of the head and cheek that probably served some decorative or ritual purpose.  The mask is in excellent condition and has the look and feel of considerable age and usage.

 

This is a very characterful and powerful mask...one can almost feel the presence of the woman it represents!

 

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