Ramu River estuary, PNG. 19th / early 20th Century
This is a fine old mask, dominated by a large, strong nose. A large nose on masks often represents the penis, and hence male power and sexuality. Such masks each have a personal name, used over many generations, and are kept in the Spirit House, often wrapped and stored high up in the roof space. The mask is carved from a hardwood and is in excellent condition. This is obviously an important mask, the colour and nautilus shell eyes in very good condition suggesting it had been used in ceremony not long before it was collected.
Size: 61 x 29 cm