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Arts of the Pacific Islands

MEDIUM Wood, fiber, pigment, shell
DATES 20th century
DIMENSIONS 13 1/4 x 5 x 3 1/8 in. (33.7 x 12.7 x 7.9 cm)  (show scale)
MARKINGS Markings on the reverse in black ink are: '5882', 'I.P. 5882/Ramu/Dr. Bessler'; in blue crayon: 'M---'.
CREDIT LINE Gift of Marcia and John Friede and Mrs. Melville W. Hall
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Small carved wooden mask of avian/human head with very long beaklike nose with protrusion at end and ridge down center. Narrow slit eyes. Red pigment around eyes and continuing down end of nose. Small mouth. White and tan pigment in design of two concentric circles on forehead. Plaited fiber border lashed to holes around perimeter of mask. Basketry woven border is attached to holes drilled into the perimeter of the mask. There are tufts of brittle straw-like fiber near the eyes at either side of top of forehead. Tassels of small hanging pieces of fiber and shell attached to holes in sides of nose and under nose. Two of these also have a piece of shell attached. There is a twisted fiber hanging loop at the top of the mask and small shell bottom on the proper left nostril. Condition: Object is fragile. Some losses of fiber on basketry border; remaining fiber fragile. Some pigment losses. Overall wear. According to accession card, Shell button at proper left nostril is broken. On posterior, "5882" and "I.C. 5882, Ramu, Dr. Bassler" are painted on in black. Monofilament and wire attached. Shellac on hole at top back. Illegible scribbling in blue.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Mask, 20th century. Wood, fiber, pigment, shell, 13 1/4 x 5 x 3 1/8 in. (33.7 x 12.7 x 7.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Marcia and John Friede and Mrs. Melville W. Hall, 87.218.8. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 87.218.8_bw.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 87.218.8_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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