Image: Kovave mask from Papua New Guinea
Initiates among the Elema people wore these masks in kovave or kaiva kuku initiation ceremonies. The masks also incorporated clan totems, such as a fish, bird or turtle. This example has a storm lamp at its top and, in addition to natural pigments, used Reckitt’s Blue laundry whitening powder.
- Carl Bento
- © Australian Museum
Australian Museum Collection E23153
Parimono, Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea
Purchased in 1915
Cane, pith, bark cloth, natural pigment, synthetic pigment