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Mask (Kanipu)


Arts of the Pacific Islands

MEDIUM Cane, bark cloth, wood, leaves, cordage, feathers, pigment
DATES late 19th or early 20th century
DIMENSIONS 17 1/2 x 18 3/4 x 4 1/2 in. (44.5 x 47.6 x 11.4 cm) Other: 16 1/2 x 19 in. (41.9 x 48.3 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE By exchange
PROVENANCE Prior to 1942, provenance not yet documented; by 1942, acquired by the American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY (no. 80.0/3359); March 1942, gift of the American Museum of Natural History to the Brooklyn Museum, by exchange.
Provenance FAQ
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION The object is a mask constructed of decorated bark cloth stretched over and wrapped around the side of a wooden stick and rattan armature, which is lashed together with cord and split cane. The shape of the mask is essentially flat and oval; however, below the eyes, protruding out from the center, is a particularly large nose. A further stylized face has been created with the application of bold graphic forms in black paint against a white (now gray) background. On the reverse of the armature, the construction process is clearly visible; namely, cane bent into an oval lashed with thin strips of reed or split caning and cording to anchor the underpinnings of bracing wooden sticks. The general condition of the mask is fair but stable; overall structure and painted elements show wear, discoloration, cracking, and flaking. From original catalogue card: Flat mask of painted bark on cane framework. Painted black and white with openings for the eyes; a long projecting nose. Scroll and geometric patterns decorate the face. Condition: nose worn.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Purari. Mask (Kanipu), late 19th or early 20th century. Cane, bark cloth, wood, leaves, cordage, feathers, pigment, 17 1/2 x 18 3/4 x 4 1/2 in. (44.5 x 47.6 x 11.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, By exchange, 42.114.16. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 42.114.16.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 42.114.16.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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