EARLY NEW GUINEA SAWOS CANOE MASK
Origin: New Guinea, Middle Sepik River, Sawos people (Provenance: Michael Evans, Dijon France, Brant Mackley Hershey Pennsylvania)
Period/Date: First quarter of the 20th century
Materials: Hardwood, resin
Description: This style of narrow handheld mask is found in the Sawos area. It has square-cut eye holes, raised cheek bones, pierced nasal septum and carved-out smiling mouth. Note how the bulbous forehead is juxtaposed to the severe elongated angular nose. At some point it may have had applied seeds around the mouth? It has seen a lot of use and has acquired a complex semi-encrusted patina. The inside of the mask is dry compared to the outside. Judging from the patinas and given that there are no pierced holes it is possible that the mask was attached to a canoe, i.e. a "canoe mask". The appendages below the chin and above the head would have allowed it to be attached to a wood and palm fiber panel to adorn the front of the canoe. In very good original condition.
Dimensions: Height 19.25 (49 cm), Width 5.5" (14 cm)