Miniature mask

oceania | Papua New Guinea

Miniature mask

Papua New Guinea

Coastal Ramu, Lower Sepik

Early 20th century
Carved wood and pigments
Height: 5 ½ in. (14 cm)

Provenance
Ex collection Kirby Lewis (Lewis / Wara Gallery), Seattle, USA
Ex collection Yann Ferrandin, Paris
Ex collection Pierre Mondoloni, Marseille

Sepik amulet mask 14 cm / Galerie Flak Price: on request
This Coastal Ramu amulet mask probably served as a protective charm. Masks were omnipresent in the arts and cultures of the Sepik. Of extremely variable sizes (from a few centimeters to more than a meter high), they offer a seemingly unlimited range of shapes and colors.

Generally known by the term brag or brag sebug in the Lower Sepik, they represented powerful spirits. As Sir Michael Somare notes in “Sana”, 1975, p. 29, brag spirits gave a man power to fight, power to make peace, power to change people's minds, and power to attract women. They would weaken one's enemy, confuse his mind and make him vulnerable.

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