This is a wonderful Old Abelam Baba Helmet Woven Mask from the Prince Alexander Mountains in the Sepik region of Northeast Papua new Guinea. The Abelam create several types of basketry masks. They include the type seen here, known in the Abelam language as baba tagwa, which is worn over the head like a helmet. Among the Abelam, baba tagwa masks are associated with the male initiation cycle, in which they are worn by men clad in shaggy costumes made from strips of leaves. During certain ceremonies, these imposing masked figures serve as guards. Brandishing lengths of bamboo or other weapons, the baba tagwa drive off women, children, and uninitiated men, who are not permitted to witness the secret initiation rites. Baba masks are constructed of woven fiber made from natural plant material and natural pigments. These decorative masks are an important element in the elaborate Yam Ceremonies held by the Abelam people. Baba masks are made and worn by men. This mask is a unique example of Papua New Guinea art and the meaning it has in their lives. A perfect adornment for your home or to add to your collection.
COMES ON STAND
This Baba Mask shows age, unraveling fiber around bottom, but overall in good condition.
15" Tall on Stand
11 1/2" deep
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