Mask

CULTURE:
Nusa
DATE:
late 19th century
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General Description

Malagan is the name for the elaborate funerary ceremonies and feasts to honor the dead in New Ireland, and it is also the term used to describe the masks and sculptures made for the ceremonies. The eyes of most malagan masks and sculptures are made from the round, pigmented valve of a sea snail, but the eyes of this mask are obsidian. It may represent a ges spirit, a person’s spirit double that lives in the bush and is usually invisible. The powerful ges spirits were potentially destructive and might attack human beings who inadvertently saw them.

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