In the Sepik River area of Papua New Guinea, masks are an essential part of the ritual performances of initiation. These male didagur masks, representing spirits of the natural world, are worn with a full grass skirt in ceremonies leading to manhood. Here young men undergo rituals in which secret knowledge is revealed and initiates endure tests of courage, strength and stamina. When not in use, the masks are hung in the spirit house, where entry is gained only by those initiated into the secret tribal lore. The Korewori River people, living near the Iatmul heartlands, are well known for their intricate basketry figures.

Physical Description

A woven fibre form with holes left for the eyes, an elongated long narrow nose and a fringe or beard of fibre. It is painted with natural pigments.

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