Sculpture

Production date
Unknown
Country
Papua New Guinea
State/Province
East New Britain
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Object Detail


Description
Wooden figure. Painted red, black and white, the statue is covered with bush fibres.
Classification
CH classification INDIGENOUS CULTURES Melanesian & South Sea Islander sculpture
Maker
Measurements
L80 x W85 x H266 mm
Media/Materials description
Wood, pigment and plant fibre.
History and use
Wood carved statue representing tubuan.

The tubuan (‘old woman’) mask, on which this wood statue is modelled on, is female and as a general rule, takes on a feminine name. The dark conical shape of the mask is adorned with eyes represented by large circles, a feature which also occurs on most dance objects associated with the dukduk. The tubuan is ritually awoken during celebrations such as those involving honouring the deceased. The mask is worn with a skirt of fronds which covers the entire torso and upon the end of the ceremonial cycle, is stored away.

Despite its wide, upturned mouth, it is a more negative aspect for which it is renowned for: destroying property, extorting donations and punishing infringements of the traditional law with fines, or as noted in the colonial era, with death. Despite its apparent policing function, its members also make use of magic skills to be used for the benefit of the community.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.
Registration number
E16651

State/Province

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