Mask - Malagan

Production date
1882
Country
Papua New Guinea
State/Province
New Ire
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Object Detail


Description
Bark cloth mask, Malagan Vanis type: Ges. Consists of an elaborate nose piece. Bush fibres are used as a hair piece; hanging from frame of mask as well. Wooden eyelids frame Turbo pelothus opercula shell eyes.
Maker
Measurements
L629mm x W130mm x H761mm
Media/Materials description
Turbo pelothus opercula eyes, wood, bark cloth, plant fibre, rattan framework.
History and use
Vanis type Malagan known as Ges. It is used during the final ceremony to commemorate the dead. Following the removal of taboo areas, men wearing ges masks emerge from the graveyard to attack houses and people belonging to the clan of the deceased. Thus, everything touched or damaged is decontaminated by their action and rendered accessible again.

Malagan ceremonies are large, intricate traditional cultural events that take place in parts of New Ireland province in Papua New Guinea. The word malagan also refers to wooden carvings which are prepared for the ceremonies, and to an entire system of traditional culture.
Registration number
E5683

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