Attractive Yam Ceremony Basketry Mask, New Guinea. Traditional culture and yam ceremonies are still a vital part of life for the Abelam and Arapesh peoples of New Guinea. Ceremonial yams grow up to 12 feet long and a man’s status is judged by his ability to grow big yams. During the festival, the yams are decorated with masks, flowers, fruit, and leaves until they resemble men at the last stage of initiation and are then displayed. These yam ‘men’ are believed to be present as living beings capable of hearing and seeing. A man does not keep his yams but exchanges them with his traditional exchange partner. The partner with the biggest yams is seen to have the most power. Men make the basketry masks they put on the yams and paint them with clay pigments and natural paints. The masks are carefully stored each year after the yam ceremonies the repainted and reused the next year.
It is 10.25 inches high and 8.75 inches wide. It has some white and black paint still remaining.
Priced at $110 plus $20 shipping costs within the US (Please see below for important shipping information)
Total cost will be $130
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