Image: Spirit Faces: New Caledonia

Spirit Faces: New Caledonia

"This mask is from New Caledonia, and is often referred to as a water spirit. It is apparently associated with funerary rituals. The large cone of hair at the top of the mask is made from human hair taken from mourners.

A colleague and I worked for about three days individually cleaning soiled feathers at the front and sides of the artifact. Each feather was painted with a special cleaning solution and rinsed off with distilled water. This work is very delicate and time consuming due to the fragile nature of feathers and the plant fiber bindings holding the feathers in place."

- Sheldon Teare, Materials Conservation

© Australian Museum

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