Abelam Helmet mask (Baba Tagwa)

Arawe shield from West New Britain Papua New Guinea

Object Type: Abelam Helmet mask (Baba Tagwa)

Locality: Abelam East Sepik Maprik area Papua New Guinea

Artist: Unknown

Circa: 1960

Height: 59 cm

Description: Unlike most Abelam Helmet mask (Baba Tagwa) this ask has retained its natural pigment colours. It is extremely well made and presents beautifully.

The Abelam and neighbouring peoples of the Prince Alexander Mountains in the Sepik region of northeast New Guinea 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, as well as the yam masks used to decorate the gigantic long yams grown and exchanged competitively by Abelam men. 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.

Price: $1200 AUD

On Sale until 30th November

$700 AUD

Article on Sepik masks

Similar Mask in the MET

Other Art objects Available

West New Britain shields

This section is a part of optimizing this web site page for a keyword.  In the world of the internet, a website will be visited by google bots. Amongst other things, the length of the article or page should be over 300 words. This makes it necessary to add additional words so that a page ranks better.  What you are reading right now is a part of that optimization process.
The process can be frustrating and I hope you can excuse me for placing this extra text. Three hundred words may not sound a lot but it is often more than needed for a punchy description.
It is not only keyword that I use this technique for. I have used it for other artifacts and artworks from Papua New Guinea and oceanic art.
Shields as Art
Like many other artifacts, this object is not just an artifact it is art. Collectors from around the world collect art from different regions. This art is Tribal art. In reality, Tribal art or ethnographic art is art from around the world.
Please feel free to also my other website on Aboriginal Art and Artifacts.