photographic print(black and white);
- Museum number
Postcard printed with a photograph (black and white); photograph of three young Elema men outdoors wearing eharo masks; the two masks on either end represent young boys, while the mask in the middle represents and old man; they also wear plant fibre shoulder coverings and cloth wraps, as well as having body painting; grass and hills behind them; Purari Delta; Papua New Guinea.
- Production date
Height: 14 centimetres
Width: 8.70 centimetres
- Curator's comments
According to Jan Hasselberg in 2021, the series of masked dancers in the series of images by Gibson Studio were taken in Port Moresby, not in the Gulf where the masks and possibly the dances are from.
Related image: these men with masks are also in image Oc,B102.23.
Eharo masks are not sacred, or ceremonial per se, but rather these masks were danced as part of an initiation for young men into the dance cycle known as the Hevehe dance cycle, which these masks are but a part of. The masks were meant to be entertainment, and represented humorous supernatural beings. At the end of the whole cycle, which could last a decade or longer, the masks would be taken to the forest and burned, bringing the transformation to a close.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2009 31 July-6 Dec, London, BM, Pacific Portraits
- Acquisition notes
- Index card with acquisition note states:
"26 NEW GUINEA POSTCARDS
purchasd from mr A. H. Barton
No information except that they were acquired by the lender's uncle (his father's brother) in New Guinea, between 1932 - 36.
D.C. Starzecka 5/3/77"
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number