Antique Carved Masked Dancer, Burma/Myanmar (6050BKE)


H: 18.25″  W” 4.5″  D: 4.75″

This sensitively carved antique hardwood dancer is set on a wood wall mount for easy display. Characteristic of Burmese wood sculpture, he is masterfully carved with a sweet, gentle face, fine attention to detail, and wearing a modest but intricately carved sarong. His dance mask is a fantastical version of a tiger, a sacred animal that protects the Buddhist faith and symbolizes bravery, strength, and perseverance. However, since it is a mythical Buddhist animal, he bares his teeth as a fierce guardian but has a friendly engaging smile. This unique piece of wall art complements any style of décor with a blend of elegant style and whimsy.


This fine folk-art of a masked dancer from Burma/Myanmar was originally part of a larger presentation as an individual figure among others that traditionally adorned religious buildings. It has been preserved and affixed on wood three-dimensional backing to convert it into an appealing decorative a piece of wall art. Carved from one dense wood piece, the traces of pigment in the face indicate it was once painted, and now the wood beneath has acquired a finely aged patina. It was carved to be viewed in the round as the back is as well carved as the front. There are holes in his ears indicating they might have been adorned with earrings and his long-articulated fingers form a closed circular indentation in which he must have carried objects now lost. He is portrayed as a humble kneeling temple dancer with a bare chest wearing a Burmese sarong (longyi) with well-defined designs and a deeply carved dance mask of a grinning tiger atop his head. Tigers, one of many mythical animals, is a sacred creature that is a protector of the Buddhist faith and symbolizes bravery, strength, and perseverance. Tiger images were used as protective talismans throughout Asia. Masked dances were popular in and known as khon also referring to Thai performances of the Ramayana.  Burmese dance was heavily influenced by Thai dance dramas since the 18th century. Little is known about Burmese-carvings traditions of masks before then, but mask dance-drama performances in courts under Burmese royal patronage called zat gyi lasted from then to the mid-19th century. It is in excellent condition with a smooth patina and expected age cracks, scrapes and minor chips. This is part of the VA Burmese-Carvings Collection.

Additional information

Weight 10 lbs
Dimensions 18 × 12 × 6 in
Place of Origin



Antique (1200-1920)


19th Century

Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 18.25” W: 4.5 D: 4.75”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 18.25” W: 4.5 D: 4.75”


5lb 3oz


Excellent, age approrpriate signs of wear


18” to 23.9”

Reference Number


Shipping Box Size