Matua / Vanis
Tabar Islands or Central New Ireland
Carved wood (alstonia), natural pigments, shell
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
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.