This is an extraordinary Painted Wood with Feathers Duk Duk Figure from the Tolai people of the Rabaul area of New Britain, the largest island in the Bismarck Archipelago of Papua New Guinea. Duk-Duk is a secret society, which has religious and political as well as social objectives. The Duk Duk represents a form of law and order through its presiding spirits. In ritual dances, members of the society invoke the male spirit Duk Duk and female spirit Tubuan depending on which mask the dancer wears. The dancers are always male despite the fact that some are performing the role of female spirits. Women and children were forbidden to look at these figures. Both types of mask are cone-shaped and are constructed of cane and fiber, with short, bushy capes of leaves. traditionally the Duk Duk was taller than the Tubuan and was faceless. The Tubuan had circular eyes and a crescent-shaped mouth brightly painted on a dark background and decorated with feathers. After their long ceremonial preparation, arrival of the Duk Duks and initiation, the dancers perform on a platform yelping and jumping in their conical costumes. The last day on which the moon is visible, the Duk Duks disappear, though no one sees them depart; their house in the bush is burned, and the dresses they have worn are destroyed. It is necessary above all else to preserve the mystery. These are truly collectable, and this dance ceremony is not longer preformed, only now for the tourists. A fabulous and One of Kind addition to your collection or home.
COMES ON STAND
Shows age and a small traces of black paint on figure, but overall in good condition.
20 1/4" tall with feathers
15 1/2" tall
20 1/2" wide front fiber
6 1/2" wide side fiber
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