H: 34 cm (approx. 1’ 1”)
Estimated age: ate 19th or early 20th century
Provenance: Formerly part of the Roberto Gamba Collection Italy; Austrian private collection
Hudoq is a thanksgiving festival of many subgroups of the Dayak ethnic group of East Kalimantan, Indonesia. According to the traditional beliefs of the Bahau and Modang people, hudoqs are thirteen crop-destroying pests, including rats, lions, and crows. In the festival, the hudoqs are symbolized by dancers who wear masks representing pests and jackets made of areca palm or banana tree bark. The dance is finished when two human hudoqs come out and chase the pest hudoqs. In the Dayak language hudoq also means hornbill bird. These famous masks are worn during agricultural ceremonies and to welcome important guests. The design is highly abstracted art that can only be understood by members of the culture. Hudoq masks are originally colored. An unusual form, very expressive nose and mouth, traces of colors.