Mask - Malagan
Papua New Guinea
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Rattan framework is implemented for extended part of mask, excluding face.
Entire mask (with exception of face) is encased with lime and embedded with small sticks (which have been broken off). Bottom of lime is bordered by resin.
Colours: black, red, white.
Early ethnographic accounts suggested that the word 'Tatanua' incorporated the local names or variants for the spirit 'tanua'; or the soul of the deceased individual.
The Tatanua mask does not represent an individual or his spirit, but looks "just like a true man" (Gunn, 1997:60). Not simply in physical characteristics, but within a broader sense of culturally defined male capabilities (Clay, 1987:66).
An exclusively male ritual, the Tatanua's dance preparations take place within a sacred men's enclosure, away from the presence of women.