Mask

Production date
Pre 1990
Country
Papua New Guinea
State/Province
East Sepik
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Object Detail


Description
Wooden Mei mask in the shape of an longated human face. Geometric, curvilinear and painted (red and black) decorations along length of object. Cowrie shells inset as eyes - one missing.
Classification
CH classification INDIGENOUS CULTURES Melanesian & South Sea Islander mask
Measurements
L 680 x W 40 x D 70 mm
History and use
Mei masks are not worn on the face, but connected to a woven conical outfit made from plaited natural fibres, covering both head and shoulders of the wearer.
Traditionally, Mei masks appear in pairs depicting both the ancestral sisters and brothers of the clan, with the spirits embodying the wearer and protecting the clan. Masks from different clans would be decorated in differing styles.

This object was collected by donor Peter Watt in 1990 and donated to the Museum of Tropical Queensland in 2012.
Associated person
Registration number
E40847

State/Province

Colours

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