Lot: 27

Rare mask, around 1910/20

Papua New Guinea - Golf, Orokolo Bay, Elema people

Provenance Size Hammer price
Old British Collection H: 11.8 inch 2000 EUR

bark cloth, cane, plant fibre, lime, black pigment, the face of an ancestor spirit in the centre, contours from cane, sewn on the bark cloth ground, partly wrapped with plant fibre, traces of old age. A comparable mask was part of the Jolika Collection of Marcia and John Friede (San Francisco, 2005, ill. 433). This mask was worn in front of the face while the porous bark cloth would allow the dancer to see through. It possibly performed in the context of the "hevehe" ceremonial cycle of feasts in order to act out comic pantomimes at any given moment or simply served to terrify children.

Friede, John & Marcia, New Guinea Art, Vol. 1, San Francisco 2005, ill. 433