Brag Mask

oceania | Papua New Guinea

Brag Mask

Papua New Guinea

Bogia Area
Lower Sepik

Late 19th century
Carved wood and pigments
Height: 19 ¼ in. (49 cm)

Provenance
Field-collected in the 1940s
Ex collection Stanley Gordon Moriarty, Sydney
Ex collection Pierre Mondoloni, France

Published: FAB Paris, 2023
Bogia Mask 49 cm / Galerie Flak Price: on request
Masks from the Sepik Delta region were carved to incarnate mythological beings tied to ancestral spirits. Every initiated adult maintained a personal relationship with his ancestor through a mask called brag.
According to Philippe Peltier, these masks were also consulted prior to war expeditions (Sepik, musée du quai Branly, 2015, p. 228).
The exceedingly rare mask presented here comes from Bogia, a remote region near the mouth of the Ramu River. Masks from that area combine flowing lines and jutting angles as is the case here.
Within the small corpus of known Bogia masks, a similar example can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (inv. 1975.305); another such mask is in the Bowers Museum in California (inv. 2016.1.1).

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