Tolai mask

oceania | New Britain

Tolai mask

New Britain

Lor mask
Bismark archipelago, Gazelle Peninsula, New Britain

20th century
Bois, pigments, fibres, plumes, dents
Height: 52 cm – 20 ½ in.

Provenance
Ex collection Luk Linut
Ex collection Mia & Loed Van Bussel, Amsterdam
Ex collection Gary Hendershott, Dallas

Tolai Lor mask 52 cm / Galerie Flak Price on request
As stated by the Metropolitan Museum of New York, these masks appearing to be smiling are known by variants of the name lor, which means skull in Tolai.
Tolai lor masks are worn by performers in a dance called tambaran kakao (spirit that crawls). The masks reportedly represent a spirit that comes to a local leader in dreams and reveals the details of dance paraphernalia and choreography.
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