Dance mask card

Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool, World Museum Liverpool

Dance mask

1968.404.3

On display

Information

Táwü - barkcloth dance mask. Top section is shaped like a human body with arms extended out at the sides with tassles on the ends. Painted with a diamond shaped face, black hair and sun like linear designs on front and back. Bottom is wide and hooped with vegetal. Masks represent different spirits (takahédekokü), including animals, insects and forest demons. This mask is said to represent the sun. Men wear barkcloth dance masks during the Óyne mourning ceremonies, held a year after an individual's death. The ceremony celebrates the deceased's life and contributions to society. At its end, they burn the masks to mark the end of the relatives' relationship with the deceased.