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Funerary Mask

Native NameTatanua
Object Number:P4555
Current Location: Collections Storage
Provenience: Bismarck Archipelago
Papua New Guinea
New Ireland
Date Made: 1910-1913
Early Date: 1910
Late Date: 1913
Section:Oceanian
Materials:Wood
Plant Fiber
Rattan
Cotton
Feather
Lime
Sea Snail Operculum
Pigment
Technique:Carved
Height: 42 cm
Length: 40 cm
Width: 19 cm
Credit Line:Purchased from J. F. G. Umlauff, 1913
Other Number:2208 - Other Number

Description

Funerary mask (tatanua). Carved wooden face surmounted by large semi-circular headdress of trade cloth and plant fiber. Eyes of sea snail opercula. Red, black and white pigment. Helmet mask worn by male dancers in performances at large scale, clan-sponsored multi-village mortuary celebrations. The crest of fiber “hair” may refer to a tradition in which, as part of mortuary observances, young men shaved the sides of their heads, which were then covered with a plaster of powdered lime. The two sides of a mask always differ, and the line of dancers turns to display each in turn.

Bibliography:

[Book] Quick, Jennifer. 2004. Magnificent Objects from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.. Philadelphia. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. ed. 1st. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: p. 166View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Article] Hall, Henry U. 1935. "Malagan of New Ireland". The University Museum Bulletin. Philadelphia. The University Museum. Vol. 5. no. 4. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: p. 7, 9View Objects related to this Actual Citation

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