A LARGE BLACKWATER RIVER GABLE MASK

Middle  Sepik Provence, Papua New Guinea

Ex collection Philip and Rosalind Goldman, London

Woven rattan, 110 x 78 cm

Across the Sepik, spectacular ceremonial houses are found in every village. They are known as “Geko” in Iatmul and Haus Tambaran in Pidgin. In the Middle Sepik the “Geko” embodies the paramount female ancestor whose enormous face appears on the gable and whose name is given to the house. Clans descending from a common ancestor build the “Geko” where cult objects are stored. Only men who are initiated are permitted inside.

Gable masks are either carved from wood or woven using split rattan cane and hung high above the entrance of the Haus Tambaran

Price on request.