TITLE: Malagan Tatanua
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Oceania
COUNTRY: Papua New Guinea
SUBREGION: New Ireland
DESCRIPTION: Tatanua Mask
MAKER: Unknown maker in Libba Village
CEREMONY: Malagan Ceremony
MAIN MATERIAL: Alstonia wood
OTHER MATERIALS: wool; plant fibers; tapa cloth; cowrie shells; pigment
New Ireland is a large island belonging to Papua New Guinea and inhabited by Melanesian peoples. The inhabitants of New Ireland organize a Malagan Ceremony upon the death of a tribe member to honor his or her memory and ease the transition of his or her soul to the spirit world. The family members of the deceased fashion the masks to resemble the dead individual and to forge a link between that person and the spirit world into which he or she is passing. Only persons of high status may participate in the masked dance.
This specific mask was made and ritually used in Libba Village in 2006.