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. 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. 20th Century Shows age and Natural Wear 17.5 Inches Tall 26 Inches on Stand 11 Inches Wide 14.5 Inches Deep AT BACARA WE STAND BEHIND ALL OF OUR MERCHANDISE. YOUR SATISFACTION IS OUR MAIN GOAL, AND WE THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AT BACARA. This item is in the category "Antiques\Ethnographic\Pacific Islands & Oceania".
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