Matua / Vanis
Mask

oceania | New Ireland

Matua / Vanis
Mask

New Ireland

Tabar Islands or Central New Ireland

Carved wood (alstonia), natural pigments, shell
19th century
Heigth: 43 ¾ in. (111 cm)

Ex German museum collection (Leipzig?), inv. #80294
Ex collection Scott Duggleby, Seattle circa 1990s
Ex collection Kevin Conru, Brussels
Ex collection Loed van Bussel, Amsterdam
Ex collection Michel & Catherine Andrault, Paris
Ex private collection, Paris

Published: Fine Arts Paris & La Biennale 2022
Matua mask 111 cm / Galerie Flak Price on request
The heavy masks in carved and painted wood from New Ireland are known by the name of Matua or Vanis. Their role is crucial during the Malagan ceremony, since their arrival marks the beginning of the last stage of the funeral ceremony. They lead the wearers of Ges masks at sunrise to clean the village, collect shell money and chase away wandering spirits of the dead. In the village, they dance to the lamentations and weeping of the whole community. They then remove the taboos placed on the community and open access to the funeral enclosure where the last phases of the ceremony take place. The masks are then arranged for display next to the Men’s House. Unlike Malagan statues, these masks can be used several times.
Masks of this type and high quality were published as early as 1895 by Meyer and Parkinson. They were essentially collected in the 19th century.
The extraordinary lacey wooden carving with intertwined birds and flying fish of our mask is typical of the Verim sub-tradition, one that is very present in Tabar but also in central New Ireland. With its exuberance and extraordinary creativity, this mask numbers among the most remarkable known Vanis masks.

Publication

Video

Publication

Explore the entire collection
oceania
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | New Zealand
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | New Britain
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | Marshall Islands
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | New Zealand
oceania | New Britain
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Torres Strait
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Admiralty Islands
oceania | Hawai'i
oceania | Hawai'i
oceania | Samoa Islands.
oceania | New Caledonia
oceania | Solomon Islands
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Admiralty Islands
New AcQuisitions | New Zealand
oceania | Solomon Islands
oceania
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Fiji
oceania | New Caledonia
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Andaman Islands
Bow
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | Australia
oceania | Marquesas Islands
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Marquesas Islands
oceania | Tonga Islands
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Australia
oceania | Australie
oceania | Papua New Guinea
New AcQuisitions | Austral Islands
New AcQuisitions | Fiji Islands
oceania | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Easter Island
oceania | Fiji Islands
New AcQuisitions | New Zealand
New AcQuisitions | Ecuador
New AcQuisitions | Fiji Islands
Bow
New AcQuisitions | Tonga Islands
New AcQuisitions | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
Discover our collections
CoLLECTIoNS
Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter