Carved mask: lacquered wood with shell inlay teeth and patterns on face. Hole at top for fastening to a wall. Sticky labels on back of mask read: 'Carved by Tangosia of Is. Bellona Br. Solomon Is. 1971' and 'T. Barrett'
CH classification INDIGENOUS CULTURES Melanesian & South Sea Islander mask
L. 360 mm, W. 180 mm H. 79 mm
Wood, pearl shell
CARVED BY TANGOSIA \ OF IS. BELLONA \ BR. SOLOMON IS 1971
History and use
This object is from the Helen Barrett collection, which was donated to Queensland Museum in 2014. Miss Helen Barrett worked as a nurse with the Australian Board of Mission in Solomon Islands from 1947 until 1984. Barrett was based at Tasia in Isabel Province, and Maravovo on Guadalcanal before being stationed at the Hospital of the Epiphany at Fauabu, Malaita from 1968 until 1984. In the 1990s, Barrett worked with the Mothers Union in the Torres Strait Islands. Her collection largely comprises of objects that were presented as gifts over the course of her missionary work in Melanesia.
Stickers on the back of this tourist mask reveal that the piece was made by an artist named Tangosia in 1971.