Cane-work and bark mask painted in black, white and red. [CW 15 6 98]

Place details: OCEANIA MELANESIA. Papua New Guinea / Gulf Province. Local Name: Unknown. Materials: Cane Plant / Bark Wood Plant / Pigment / Plant Fibre / ?. Processes: Painted / ?. Dimensions: Max L = 410 mm Field Collector: Unknown When Collected: By 1906 Other Owners: ?Stevens Auction Rooms sale April 3 1906 PRM Source: Unknown vendor [?Stevens Auction Rooms] Acquired: Purchased April 1906 Other Numbers: 1154

KEYWORD: Mask / CLASS: Mask / ?.

Publications history, trails & websites: Published as a PRM postcard. Caption on reverse: 'Mask of barkcloth, painted in characteristic black, red and white, on a cane framework. Worn attached to a fibre cloak, it represents a spirit. The wearer is male, usually an intiate. Papua New Guinea, Papuan Gulf.' [MOB 23/10/2001; JC 8 10 2004]

Illustrated (detail only) in colour on the front cover of Pitt Rivers Museum: An Introduction, by Julia Cousins (Oxford: Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, 2004). Caption (on back cover) reads: 'Mask made of painted barkcloth on a cane framework, worn attached to a fibre cloak; from the Papulan Gulf, Papua New Guinea. Such masks were worn by initiated men to represent spirits.' [JC 8 10 2004]

Research notes: I think there is a strong chance that this object came in via the Stevens Auction Rooms, on the previous page there is a clear indication that the items at the top of the page were purchased from Stevens, after that there is an implication that they were and I think this is a continuation of this implication [AP 4/5/2000]