Mask amulet

Production date
Pre 1990
Papua New Guinea
East Sepik
See full details

Object detail

Miniature wooden mask amulet, suspended from twisted plant fibre twine, incised with curvilinear and geometric designs infilled with white; associated bone implement. Mask decorated with small shell inlay - two missing.
CH classification INDIGENOUS CULTURES Melanesian & South Sea Islander mask
Production date
Pre 1990
Full length: 308 mm
Mask length: 70 x W 35 x D 20 mm

Bone implement: L 65 x W 5 mm
History and use
Amulet masks are often only several centimetres long, where as some Sepik masks are made as large as one metre in height. Amulet masks are used by locals to decorate sacred instruments, canoes or attached to their bags, bilums or belts as lucky amulets. They are believed to embody ancestral spirits, who would provide protection for the owner.

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


My shortlist


Explore other objects by colour