This is a fabulous One of a Kind Old and Used Rare Women's Day Dance Mask called Engini that is from the Baining People of New Britain. This female dance mask is made of Tapa Cloth from the Mulberry tree that has been stretch over a cane superstructure. The surface of the tapa has been painted with red and black motifs. The painted bark cloth display pieces, headdresses, and composite helmet masks created for the day-dance ceremonies are worn by men. These men present themselves and the art forms to a female orchestra who sing and beat bamboo tubes on rocks and wood on the ground. These pieces, headdresses, and composite helmet masks are painted with "plant-growth" patterns in red and black against a white (bark cloth) background. These patterns are associated with products of the garden as well as useful plants gathered by women in the bush. The day dance, accompanied by an orchestra of women, which is devoted to female fertility, agriculture, and the mourning of the dead, a phenomena typically associated with the community. In addition, the headdresses are said to symbolize the growth of garden plants. To the Baining, these men and the various art forms they present or wear take on feminine identities for the brief period of their presentation to the female orchestra and the audience. After the male dancers remove their headdresses, masks, body spears and other feminine art symbols, they are regarded once again as men. Many of the costumes worn by daytime dancers include the painted tapa headdress with long fiber that is attached to the bottom of the mask, thereby adding to the feminine identity of the male dancers. The audience at these presentations consists of men, women, and children from various villages. This Banning Fire Dance Mask is Museum quality and a real collectors item. This feminine dance mask has personality, style and is so very unique and quite rare. A wonderful addition to your collection or home.
Late 20th Century
COMES ON A STAND
Shows age, but in good condition. Museum Quality
27 1/2" long
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