The Jack Daulton Collection
Antique & Ethnographic Art

Tamoko Mask

Wayana-Aparai people

Brazilian Amazon



Tamoko (Tamok) mask/costume


bark cloth, beeswax, kaolin clay, pigment and palm-frond fibers, mounted on a custom stand


height: approx. 162 cm


Wayana-Aparai people

northern Brazil, Amazon, Mato Grosso region


20th century


provenance:  collected in the Brazilian Amazon by Jack Daulton

This type of costume is used during the Cumeeira hut-dedication ceremony (also known as the Pono dance). 

"The Tamok represents an evil spirit, a powerful man-eating forest monster associated with illness and death.  But the Pono dance placates Tamok and purifies the village.  It is performed with a large, two-handed whip to make loud cracking sounds.  The Tamok mask's geometrical patterns are reminiscent of the face painting applied to Wayana girls."  D


See Barbara Braun, The Arts of the Amazon (Thames & Hudson, 1995), pg. 84.