We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

Title

Baba or yau-baba (bell-shaped woven mask)

mid 20th century
collected 1965

Artist

Abelam people

Papua New Guinea

Alternate image of Baba or yau-baba (bell-shaped woven mask) by Abelam people
Alternate image of Baba or yau-baba (bell-shaped woven mask) by Abelam people
Alternate image of Baba or yau-baba (bell-shaped woven mask) by Abelam people
Alternate image of Baba or yau-baba (bell-shaped woven mask) by Abelam people
Alternate image of Baba or yau-baba (bell-shaped woven mask) by Abelam people
Alternate image of Baba or yau-baba (bell-shaped woven mask) by Abelam people
Alternate image of Baba or yau-baba (bell-shaped woven mask) by Abelam people
Alternate image of Baba or yau-baba (bell-shaped woven mask) by Abelam people
Alternate image of Baba or yau-baba (bell-shaped woven mask) by Abelam people
Alternate image of Baba or yau-baba (bell-shaped woven mask) by Abelam people
  • Details

    Other Titles
    Helmet mask
    baba tagwa mask
    Place where the work was made
    Maprik District East Sepik Province Papua New Guinea
    Cultural origin
    Abelam people
    Dates
    mid 20th century
    collected 1965
    Media categories
    Weaving , Ceremonial object , Sculpture
    Materials used
    coil-woven rattan cane, plant fibre, red ochre and white pigment
    Dimensions
    38.5 x 28.0 x 34.0 cm
    Credit
    Purchased 1965
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    389.1994
    Copyright

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Abelam people

    Works in the collection

    7

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  • About

    'Baba' masks form part of a full-body costume that is used during initiations. 'Yau-baba' masks are used in communal and private 'yam scenes' – displayed in the secret room of the yam-storage house together with 'urungwall figures' – to promote the growth of yams. They may also be shown together with shell rings in a private yam scene. A 'yau-baba' usually has its own name and is also linked to success in hunting pigs.

    The pigments used on woven 'baba' or 'yau-baba' masks, 'urungwall' figures and 'bai' paintings are sourced from natural ochres and paints. Colours are believed to have magical properties if used with spells or mixed with certain ingredients.

    [entry from Exhibition Guide for 'Melanesian art: redux', 2018, cat no 24]

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

Other works by Abelam people

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