A BAINING DAY DANCE MASK

Provenance: Private English collection

This is an old and used rare Women’s Day Dance Mask called “Engini” that is from the Baining People of New Britain. This female dance mask is made of Tapa Cloth from the Mulberry tree that has been stretch over a cane superstructure. The surface of the tapa has been painted with red and black motifs. The painted bark cloth display pieces, headdresses, and composite helmet masks created for the day-dance ceremonies are worn by men. These men present themselves and the art forms to a female orchestra who sing and beat bamboo tubes on rocks and wood on the ground.
Cf: Baining, Life and Lore, Karl Hesse
Barkpainting, Natural pigments, cane, first half 20th Century.

East New Britain Provence
Tapa, rotan, raffia and pigments, size: 140 cm