Oceania

Micronesian mask from Mortlock Islands

What you see here is an authentic mask from the Mortlock Islands, Micronesia, and it just fetched $2000 at auction. Micronesia is a large area of the world that is composed of thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It has a closely shared cultural history with two other island regions: Polynesia to the east and Melanesia to the south. However, the Mortlock Islands are the only place were masquerade is performed in the region and all of their masks resemble this one.

People like me, who collect masks from all over the world, feel it is important to have one of these in our collection because no other mask could represent Micronesia. But if this particular mask is truly authentic, $2000 is a low price. Better yet for collectors, nice repros can be found for much less. A or B

One Comment

  • Ruth Mclaughlin

    I have two Mortlock masks. They are 7 5/8″ tall. I know the were obtained in or around 1973-74 somewhere around Guam. Ex husband was stationed abourd a Coast Guard Cutter at that time. There are no eye holes. But the painting are similar. I don’t think they are any older then the 1970s. Would there be an insurance value for these?

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