Mask used in Malanggan ceremonies of the dead. Known as “tatanua,” these masks were at the center of the ceremony, where devotion to the dead was combined with initiation and fertility rites. The dead person was represented by the mask and participated in the ceremony through the mask, giving way to the new members and thus regenerating their society. Malanggan ceremonies also served to establish reciprocal links between family members, even in political and economic terms, thus raising the organizer's prestige. The masks were usually burned once the ceremony was over.


  • Title: Malanggan Mask
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 19th century
  • Physical Dimensions: w17 x h42 x d42 cm
  • Type: Sculpture
  • External Link: CERES
  • Photographer: Miguel Ángel Otero, 2010
  • Materials: Wood, pigments, vegetable fiber, cloth, feathers, stone
  • Cultural Context: New Ireland (Papua New Guinea), Melanesia

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