Dance Mask with Bird Totem, 20th century

expand_more
Not on Viewexpand_more

This dance mask, made by Ngavimeli, an Iatmul artist from New Guinea, was worn during ceremonies to honor deceased members of the community. Two dancers, concealed under a costume of plant fibers, typically wore the mask together. It is one of two masks, danced as a pair, representing ferocious eagles who were killed for causing destruction in the village. As revenge for their deaths, their brother, a crocodile spirit, brought devastating floods to the region. The frigate bird on top of the mask, a common image in Iatmul art, is believed to be an intermediary between the living world and the realmn of the ancestors.

Details
Title
Dance Mask with Bird Totem
Role
Artist
Accession Number
73.3
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Show Detail

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.