- Museum number
Mask in the shape of an owl's face. Made from a curved, oval shaped piece of turtle-shell. Eye areas consist of rings of perforated triangle shapes. Wooden nose with forations for the nostrils, coloured with red ochre. Tied at the top and through the nostrils to the mask with vegetable fibre strips.
- Production date
Height: 17 centimetres
Width: 22 centimetres
Depth: 9 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Presumably this is the mask referred to in Oswald Brierly's diary of 7 December 1849 at Mt Ernest Island (see Moore 1979:138). A canoe of 'Koolgulliga [Kulkalaig] people came to the ship, bringing 'tortoiseshell for barter and wanted tobacco and axes. Biscuit they did not seem to care for. A curious tortoisehell mask was purchased from [one of ] them by Captain Stanley, being one of those which they use at their 'White Man Kabob' [dance ceremony].'
Description from Extracts from the British and Medieval Register 1757-1878, p.111:
'55. Tortoise-shell mask, with wooden nose. 6 inches by 8 ½ inches. From Mount Ernest, Torres Straits.'
Tied-on handwritten label - difficult to read. Incorporates the numerals 42
- Not on display
- Broken and repaired
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- From the HMS Rattlesnake expedition of 1846-1850, probably collected in 1849.
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number