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Didagur masks

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.

Mask (1925)
 Mask (1925)

 Mask (1925)

 Mask (1925)

 Mask (1925)
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Mask (1925), natural pigments on woven cane
Dimensions H 42 x W 45 x L 87 cm
Registration No. X 83742
Image source: Museum Victoria

© Museum Victoria Australia