Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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목중 tal (monk mask)
  • Korea
  • 목중 tal (monk mask), probably 1970s
  • Where object was made: Korea
  • paper, rice glue, ink, color pigments, cloth
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 12 x 10 x 5.5 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 4 3/4 x 3 7/8 x 2 1/8 in
  • Gift of Lilly Y. Tsubaki
  • Not on display
  • 2010.0077

This red mask is characterized by large round staring eyes with gold irises. It has a prominent brow ridge and three protuberances projecting from its forehead-each emphasized by a gold dot. Its wild riot of “hair” is made up of a profusion of individual cut pieces of black cloth. It possesses a mere slit for a mouth and a broad flat nose. Black and white markings-alternating vertical lines on the brow ridge and dots sprinkled across the bridge of its nose and lower portion of its face-create graphic appeal. Gold dots may also be viewed on its protruding cheeks and chin.

This mask is used in the Bongsan Talchum or Bongsan Mask Dance Play. The mask’s small size suggests that it was not made to be performed.