Originally part of a set of 27 scrolls, this painting is from the Yao (Mein) tribal people living in the Golden Triangle area where Thailand, Burma and Laos meet. The Yao, one of the six so-called hill tribes residing in the Golden Triangle, follow Taoism as it was practiced in China in the 13th and 14th centuries. This painting on mulberry paper was one of several face masks representing ancestral spirits that were part of the complete set of large scrolls. It was worn by a tribal elder during elaborate tribal ceremonies. (See a complete set of 27 Yao bible paintings as well as more information on Yao tribal ceremonies in our web site archives by entering #57-33 in the search box.) This painting most likely was replaced by a similar new one, which is sometimes done to refresh the set. The painting would have been "decommissioned" by a Yao priest who suggested to the spirit that he depart the painting and "go somewhere else." Another such “orphan” Yao bible painting is currently on our web site (see listing #10-73). This face painting shows evidence of repeated use but is in reasonable condition and could be framed; the reverse side of the mask is soiled and worn. See photo enlargements. Dimensions: height 8 ½” (21.5 cm), width 7” (18 cm).