This is a beautiful Old Woven Yam Mask that Placed Over a Turtle Shell with Cowrie Shell Eyes is from the Kaminbit Village, Papua New Guinea. This mask is called a Hunting Spirit Mask. One of the major focuses of ceremonial life among the tribal people is the competitive growth and exchange of long yams. A man’s social status is determined largely by his success in growing long yams. Each man has a permanent exchange partner to whom he ceremonially presents his largest yams following the annual harvest. Men who are consistently able to give their partners longer yams than they receive gain great prestige. The yam mask woven over the turtle signifies that is a spirit hunting mask, and is lavishly the Lavishly adorned for the presentation ceremony, the finest long yams are essentially transformed into human images. The large decorated yams are believed to be live embodiment's of the ancestors and the masks play a central role in representing the spiritual beings. Men weave the yam masks with human and animal characteristics and then sometimes cover them with clay pigment and dyes. A masterful weaver will produce a mask that is tightly woven, clear in form and idea and that has a visual presence that easily conveys the spirit of the ancestor. The application of paint animates the finished mask; paint is the trans-formative ingredient that changes the status of the mask from an inanimate thing to living spirit. This spirit hunting yam mask is a unique band one of a kind. A truly great addition to your collection.
Shows age, and some lose woven fiber, but in good condition.
14 1/2" wide
2 1/2" tall
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