Worn during spectacular night dances, this helmet mask represents a leaf spirit, one of the many bush spirits depicted by kavat bark-cloth masks.
The mask is formed by stretching bark cloth over a thin cane frame. The pigments that decorate these masks have general symbolic associations: red with masculinity, reminiscent of the flames through which the mask dances at night; black with femininity, the soot of cooking fires, and fertile earth; and white with the spirit world.
- Culture: Central Baining (Uramot or Kairak Subgroup)
- Medium: Bark cloth, pigment, cane
- Place Made: Gazelle Peninsula, New Britain Island, East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea
- Dates: late 19th or early 20th century
- Dimensions: 50 x 11 x 29 in. (127 x 27.9 x 73.7 cm) (show scale)
- Collections:Arts of the Pacific Islands
- Museum Location: This item is not on view
- Accession Number: 1994.142
- Credit Line: Gift of Thomas and Katherine Brush
- Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
- Caption: Central Baining (Uramot or Kairak Subgroup). Mask (Kavat), late 19th or early 20th century. Bark cloth, pigment, cane, 50 x 11 x 29 in. (127 x 27.9 x 73.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Thomas and Katherine Brush, 1994.142. Creative Commons-BY
- Catalogue Description: White, red, and black painted designs on bark cloth over a wooden frame. Circular opening in lower back of mask.
- Record Completeness: Best (83%)