This extremely rare mask is carved from the breast plate of a cassowary bird. The amazing fact is that this mask is totally complete, the few that are known are usually without the basketry structure surrounding the mask. The old tightly woven structure is very intricate, consisting of different patterns, which converge to create a vivid and lively halo effect around the face. The nose is an attached piece of wood,and is pierced for a nose ornament. This particular example has a strong facial expression and old original pigments. There are cassowary bird feathers and blotches of encrustation on the basketry. Important to note there is a similar example in the Friede collection (#110 in New Guinea Art, Jolika coll ) but the Friede example lacks the basketry, but has a nose made from an attached piece of wood, just like our example.
This mask stands 15 in in height.