Vintage and Antique Tribal Art and Artifacts from The Americas.
A rare Papuan Gulf wicker body mask (kanipu)

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All Items: Archives: Regional Art: Pre 1940: item # 1109960

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A rare Papuan Gulf wicker body mask (kanipu)
From Urama Island, this large-scale woven body mask is typical of the sacred basketry figures used in dramatic dance performances. The region this monumental mask comes from (the Papuan Gulf) has been explored for more than 150 years, yet comparatively little is known about the peoples living in this part of New Guinea. Measuring about 6' H x 27.5"w, the mask is in very good condition with expected losses overall, mainly to the fringe along the bottom, and to the organic white, black and red color added to enhance the boldness of the weave. Dated to the early 20th century. Provenance: Aase B. and C. Frederick Thompson Foundation, Gainesville, FL, since the 1980's.

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