New Guinea Lower Sepik KERAM RIVER ANCESTOR HOUSE MASK
New Guinea Lower Sepik KERAM RIVER ANCESTOR HOUSEMASK
Origin: New Guinea Lower Sepik, Keram River, Kambot Village (Provenance: Ex. Collection of Lynda Cunningham Philmont, New York)
Period/Date: At least 1940's likely older
Materials: Rattan, Cassowary Bird feathers, Boars tusks, clay, bone, Nassa Shell, Cone shells, large Cowrie shells, charcoal and natural pigments and snail shells.
Description: Its unusual to see an ancestor mask this old and so elaborately embellished in such fine condition. It is a derivative of the larger plank-like shield masks made from this same culture. It would have been displayed in the interior of a ceremonial house which were known for their ambitious and complex graphic interiors. It is a powerful piece having a strong spiritual presence. Judging by the volume and large scale of the shell wealth adornment, it was clearly an important object representing an ancestor or hero in their creation myth. Its surface is very old, dry and semi-encrusted and the rattan structure is somewhat oxidized. There is an old piece of telephone wire used as a hanging loop on back that still functions well.
Dimensions: Overall length with feathers 18” (46 cm), width 11” (28 cm).