Tribal art > African mask > Sepik mask
Sepik mask (N° 22298)
Belgian tribal art collection.
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This mask from the region of the Sepik River, nicknamed the Nile of New Guinea, has a flat, oblong shape, associated with traditional canoes, and from which spring a hooked nose and a bulbous forehead. Stylized patterns painted with natural red pigments alternate with white lines. Vegetable fibers accompanied by feathers embellish the contours.
Melanesia , in the Pacific Ocean, includes Papua (Irian Jaya), Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and the Solomon Islands.
The population is the result of successive migrations resulting in racial heterogeneity resulting in many languages and great artistic diversity.
Most of these communities were organized into male societies with ceremonial huts in which statues, masks and ritual objects were stored.
The masks produced by these groups represent ancestral spirits in which they incarnate.
Funeral rituals are used to honor spirits in order to reach their ultimate destination.