Sepik (Dream) Mask

Iatmul Tribe

Papua New Guinea

This mask comes from the Sepik River area in Papua New Guinea. Few masks in this region are worn directly over the face, which explains the lack of holes for eyes. This is a modern-day "dream" mask from Tambanum.

This mask appears in the dreams of a man and until he carves it, its spirit constantly pursue him and make him do all kinds of bad things, like sleep with his neighbor's wife, kick another man in an argument and so on. All of which were conveniently blamed on the pursuing spirit. Carving a new, dreamed image is not done lightly. Besides the worry over the potentially dangerous power of its spirit, the carver must give a party for the finished piece. This can cost a lot of money.

Wood , Cowry shells , Rope , Feathers of a Cassowary bird

Height: 22″ (55.9cm)