Headdress

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Registration number
26678
Item name
Headdress 
Category
Bodywear
 
Indigenous name
Kavat 
Maker
Unrecorded  
Associated cultural group
Baining 
Place
Pacific > Papua New Guinea > East New Britain Province > Gazelle District > Baining
Map
Collector
Unrecorded 
Acquisition date
 
Acquisition method
Unrecorded by Unrecorded 
Raw material
Bark cloth; plant fibre, rattan; pigment, plant; pigment,
Dimensions
H: 820 mm W: 240 mm L: D: 650 mm Circum:

Description

Mask made of bark cloth sewn over rattan frame and decorated with pigment manufactured from plants and paint from charcoal.

Research notes

Made and used by the Baining men of the Gazelle Peninsula in New Britain, Papua New Guinea - the 'kavat' mask is made from painted bark cloth manipulated and fastened over a rattan frame. The dancers’ heads are adorned with the helmet masks, their torsos covered with soot and lime, their backs, arms and legs decorated with braces of leaves and their pubic area covered with a smaller decorated bark ornament (magumbet). Accompanied by a male orchestra, the dancers appear at night, dancing around and through huge bonfires. The combined elements of the mask’s design, material and form enhanced the spiritual power imbued within the mask. The black pigment is linked to the female domain, red with masculinity and white with the world of spirits. There are several forms of kavat masks, each depicting motifs associated directly to an animal, plant, or activity from the surrounding forest.

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