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Pacific art

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Mask for initiation ceremonies

mid 20th century
collected 1966


Unknown Artist


Other Titles


Mask, fighting stick and rattle to be worn together

Cultural origin

Tairora people


mid 20th century
collected 1966

Materials used

cassowary feathers (Casuarius), rattan frame, 2 pig tusks, wood, pangi seeds (Pangium edule), rattan, plant fibres, nassa shells (Nassarius), marsupial fur, wood, red and black pigments, green, blue and red parrot feathers


183.0 x 79.0 x 75.0 cm figure; stick 67.2 cm length; rattle 151.5 cm length :

a - cassowary feather mask; 183 x 79 x 75 cm; length

b - rattle; 151.5 cm; length

c - club; 67.2 cm


Gift of Stan Moriarty 1974


Not on display

Accession number


Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 6 publications


Jude Ainsworth, The Australian women's weekly, 'First stop Port Moresby', pg. 14-16, Sydney, 27 Nov 1968, 14 (colour illus.). 'Holidays in Australia' colour supplement; photograph shows mask being danced at the 1966 Goroka Show

Samantha Hutchison, The Australian, 'Sky's the limit after art gallery revamp', pg. 13, Surry Hills, 05 Oct 2015, 13 (colour illus.). Arts Section

Aboriginal and Melanesian art, Sydney, 1973, 51. H49

Natalie Wilson, Look, 'A myriad of artforms: rare and beautiful objects from the highlands of New Guinea', pg. 24-28, Sydney, May 2014, 24, 25 (colour illus., detail).

Natalie Wilson, Hunting the collectors: Pacific collections in Australian museums, art galleries and archives, '(Works of) paradise and yet: Stanley Gordon Moriarty, Tony Tuckson and the collection of Oceanic Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales', pg. 221-241, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2007, 232.

Natalie Wilson (Editor), Plumes and pearlshells: art of the New Guinea highlands, Sydney, 2014, 68 (illus.), 69 (colour illus.), 159. 11