In many respects, the material culture of Southeastern Asia rests on a three-legged stool of bamboo, hard-stone, and clay. Early Chinese, Japanese, Khmer, and Korean societies adapted bamboo for shelter; furniture; household implements; botanical design; objects of veneration and scholarly pursuits; and weapons. It isn’t surprising then that folk artists in many of these cultures used the bamboo root, with its natural imitation of facial hair to carve images of folkloric archetypes, the wise, the fierce and the foolish. Our example is most likely 19th century Japanese, although he could very well be of Chinese origin. While many of these masks are still being made, as is too often the case with indigenous folk crafts and international markets, the sensibilities that once gave individual character to the masks are progressively less evident. Condition: Overall very good. Some root filaments broken. Original hemp cord replaced by wire. Dimensions: 7.5" x 12".