Rare Mundugumor Mask / Figure Sepik River, Papua New Guinea
The Mundugumor tribe – first studied by Margaret Mead in the early 1930s – is located in the Sepik River region of PNG. This is a tribe /clan rich in traditions and customs of aggression (cannibalism and headhunting). They are aware of the existence of unseen forces but they firmly believe that these forces are controllable. That attitude and confidence is apparent in their religious practitioners, ceremonies, medicine, death (an act of sorcery) and – of course – their arts.
This tribal wooden figure / mask with cassowary feathers, clay, shells, and tusks looks to be set into a woven basket-type surround. Color pigments help to define the face. Some of the clay has separated from the rattan backing. I have stablized it.
I acquired this piece from an anthropologist in Melbourne Australia. It had been part of the large Healsville collection owned by M.Mann who worked in PNG in the mid-1950s.
This piece is considered fragile. For the Serious Collector.
This one-of-a-kind, never-to-be-seen-again mask has been sold.