Maskers wore these elaborate basketry headdresses during initiation rites for young men. The human-like facial features recall Sulka men's adornments, such as nose plugs and elongated earlobes. The back flap in the shape of a fish tail is said to be derived from a spirit that the maker of the mask had seen in a dream. During performances, a long skirt of betel palm leaves concealed the masker.
Artform: OCEANIC ART
Artist: Sulka People
Country/Culture: Melanesia: New Britain
Period: 19th century
Date: late 19th century
Medium: Fiber, cassowary feathers, and pigment
Size: Height: 95.25 cm
Museum: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
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