NEWSLETTER


Bruce Frank Primitive Art
208 W 83rd St NYC
+1 212 579 3596

Flute Mask

Guam River, Middle Ramu River region, Papua New Guinea
19th century
Wood, remains of red pigment

This fine flute mask from the middle Ramu River region presents an ancient, textured patina and well-balanced proportions. Its remarkably elegant structure was carved with non-metallic tools. Flute Masks from the Ramu river are usually tied around long bamboo flutes. This example may have been decorated with cassowary feathers, inserted in the holes pierced along the edge. During initiation and healing ceremonies, flutes are played all night long by initiated men, while others dance in circle around the musicians. Their sound incarnates the ancestor’s voices and is particularly important during the initiation ceremony, which leads boys into adulthood.

Flute Mask

Guam River, Middle Ramu River region, Papua New Guinea
19th century
Wood, remains of red pigment

This fine flute mask from the middle Ramu River region presents an ancient, textured patina and well-balanced proportions. Its remarkably elegant structure was carved with non-metallic tools. Flute Masks from the Ramu river are usually tied around long bamboo flutes. This example may have been decorated with cassowary feathers, inserted in the holes pierced along the edge. During initiation and healing ceremonies, flutes are played all night long by initiated men, while others dance in circle around the musicians. Their sound incarnates the ancestor’s voices and is particularly important during the initiation ceremony, which leads boys into adulthood.