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Shield Mask (Nekempao)

Arts of the Pacific Islands

CULTURE Malakula
MEDIUM Tree fern, vegetal-fiber paste, bamboo, pigment
DATES 20th century
DIMENSIONS 42 x 13 1/2 x 7 3/4 in. (106.7 x 34.3 x 19.7 cm)  (show scale)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 72.49.1
CREDIT LINE Gift of David R. Markin
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION Malakula. Shield Mask (Nekempao), 20th century. Tree fern, vegetal-fiber paste, bamboo, pigment, 42 x 13 1/2 x 7 3/4 in. (106.7 x 34.3 x 19.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of David R. Markin, 72.49.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 72.49.1_bw.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 72.49.1_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Shield with stylized face at the top: eyebrows indicated; long protruding nose with a tube-like opening horizontally run thru septum; projecting tubular eyes; curved 'tusk' like projections are attached at sides of face. Mouth is oval indentation. Ridged headdress-like area at top of head. Body of shield has black painted geometric markings and two "V" shaped indentations outlined in black. Naval indicated in center of shield; the center of the naval is painted white. The shield is composed of tree fern, covered with clay, and painted with earth pigments: light brick pink, white and black. The tusks are added and have a plant fiber base covered by mud and pigment. The reverse side of the shield has no decorations and has remains of tree bark patterns. Condition: very fragile; mud surface badly crackled; both tusk-like armatures broken at top, one tubular eye is loose. Crackle over entire area does not penetrate fern structure except as noted, about attachment of nose, eyes and tusks.
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