M-10 Old Dance Mask


M-10 Old Dance Mask

Waia village, Manam Island, North Coast, PNG Wood, conus shell, paint. 19th / early 20th Century.

This is a strong, classic Dance Mask carved in harwood mask from the Sepik/Ramu cultural region. Manam Island, where this mask comes from, is at the far eastern edge of this cultural region. The mask has, strong features and conus shell eyes. The edges and holes show much wear and tear, having been used in many ceremonies over its village life. Masks were worn in village secret society ceremonies, generally attached to a much larger dance costume that covers the body of the dancer. These masks are invariably painted red, and there are many layers apparent. The red colour is said to make the mask “hot” and is magical in its own right. The mask is painted freshly before each ceremony when the spiritual intercession is required.


70 x 24 x 22 cm

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