Q: I was wandering around a Goodwill “end of the rode” store, where items are priced by weight! They were pushing large carts filled with ephemera towards the center of the store. People always make a wild dash to be the first one at the bins!! I waited until everyone had gone to another bin….and I found this mask. It cost me $1.99! The mask is very light wood and reminds me of the Northeast masks of Canada. Any ideas about it would be appreciated. Regardless of it’s origins…I love it. Mickey, 913
A: You can’t beat that price. Well made tourist masks, wherever they come from, cost more than $2. But before answering your question I wanted to get Aaron’s opinion. Here is what he said: “Not 100% sure, but it bears a resemblance to some PNG Barag (mosquito) masks from the coastal Sepik River region of Papua New Guinea.” My opinion is that Aaron is correct, however this mask would have been made by a modernist who regularly sells to tourist and gallery owners. I think it has a great look. You can find pictures of more traditional mosquito masks on Google images.
If you know anything about contemporary PNG style art, please share it with us.