In many areas of Southeast Asia, shamans still continue to direct the vital spiritual life of the population, bringing them together and helping to order the universe by righting wrongs, communicating with the ancestors, or dealing with the unfriendly forces of nature and the ever-surrounding larger groups of outsiders encroaching on their lives. This highly-expressive and naturalistic mask is the type worn by a shaman during Daoist ritual. It has the countenance of an elder, with wrinkled, high cheek-boned features and a projecting horn-like topknot associated with the 'ushnisha' of Buddha, himself. Horse hair, traces of paper prayer sheets and metal eye inserts (one missing) further enhance and animate the mask. From the late 19th century, China or Vietnam/Laos environs. It measures 14"L x 8"W x 6"D, and is in very fine condition. Provenance: Old collection of Susan Lerer, Los Angeles CA.