This is a large Mei Mask with raffia from the Iatmul people of the Sepik River Region in Papua new Guinea. These masks are not face masks, but are tied to a conical structure made of plaited fibers which covers the head and shoulders of a dancer. While similar in shape, the style and decoration of the masks vary by village throughout the Sepik River region. Mei masks usually appear in male and female pairs representing the ancestral sisters and brothers of a village clan. Each clan owns a pair, and when not in use, they are kept in the clan elder's house. The masks are also used in battle to frighten enemies into submission, and to impress young boys during initiation ceremonies. This is a special mask and was collected in the field. This mask would be a lovely addition to your home or collection.
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