Flute mask


About this object

The 1950s and 1960s was a time of major rebuilding for the museum. New collections were purchased and piece by piece the museum was slowly rebuilt. The museum had received a War Damage Fund that allowed the curators to rebuild the collections in new ways that were different from the collecting procedures used before the Blitz.
Many objects like this mask from Papua New Guinea were bought for the ethnology collections from art dealers. This method of collecting was not without its own problems.
It was not always clear exactly where the objects had come from or how they had been used. We still research the collections today, so we can understand how objects, which arrived without a history, were made, used and valued.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Mask; Religion
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Oceania: Melanesia: River Sepik; Oceania: Melanesia: Papua New Guinea: East Sepik: Murik Lakes
  • Date made
    1965 before
  • Materials
    Clay; Shell; Feather Cassowary; Gourd; Fibre; Tooth Pig
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, World Cultures
  • Acquisition
    Purchased from Gallery 43, 1965
  • Collector
    Philip Goldman
  • Place collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Date collected
    1965 before
  • Measurements
    640 mm
  • Note
    A mask that was kept in a men's ceremonial house and protected sacred flutes from the eyes and hands of the uninitiated. It may represent the spirit of an ancestor, whose voice is the sound of the flute.
  • Related people
    Gallery 43 (Previous owner); Philip Goldman (Collector)


Previous owners

  • Gallery 43

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1966
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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