This is a wonderful Spirit Mask with Rattan Backing from the Tribal People of the Tambunam Village, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. Carving a dream mask is a spiritual experience, and not taken lightly. Beside the fact that is could be potentially dangerous spirit, the carver must throw a party for the finished piece. These masks represent spirits of totemic names. Names are very sacred in the Papua New Guinea. No one calls anyone by their real name, not even themselves, in the fear of drawing bad spirits and sorcerers. During initiations, the elder who wears the mask becomes a spirit teacher who may say the important totemic names without evoking personal risk. He tells and calls out names for use in magic, for healing and for other spiritual uses. These names number in the thousands and only powerful men have this knowledge. There are thousands of totemic names and only powerful men contain this knowledge. This mask would be a wonderful addition to your collection or home.
This mask shows age, loss of color on the mask and rattan, but in good condition.
21 1/2" tall
9 2/2" wide
2 1/2" deep
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