Lot: 14

Yam mask

Papua New Guinea, Abelam, Maprik area

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
The Christensen Fund Collection H: 11.2 inch 1400 EUR / 3000 EUR

balsa wood, lime, red ochre, black pigment, collection no "71.1.126", slightly dam., insect caused damage, repainted at the right temple, base; Certain groups in New Guinea notably the Abelam, Massim and Wosera perform ceremonies that revolve around the inseparability of man, yams, and spirit world. Selected yams become the central element of harvest festivals. Carved wooden heads were attached to the yams, transforming them into ancestral spirits or "nggwal". They are dressed in jewels and finery, including body paint.

Meyer, Anthony J.P., Ozeanische Kunst, Vol. I, Köln 1995, p. 275