Collection Online
pig tusk, pigment on tapa string, cotton
24.5 × 21.0 × 4.5 cm
Place/s of Execution
Tufi district, Oro Province, Papua New Guinea
Accession Number
Pacific Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Louise and Sam Dawson, 2008
Gallery location
Not on display
This 'war or peace' mask - the cross bar of which is held in the teeth, was collected from Tufi people, Oro Province in 2003. The manner in which the mask is gripped in a warrior's teeth indicates the intent of the warrior. If the pig's tusks are pointing towards the wearer, then he is indicating he is visiting a village for peaceful purposes, however, should the tusks be pointing forward then beware, the warrior has announced he is entering to settle a score. The foundation material is of light wood, to which the pigs' tusks are attached with the frame wrapped in bark cloth. An example of this mask is in the photograph of 'Sokiram' opposite page 339 of Arthur Kent Chignell's 'An Outpost in Papua' published by Smith, Elder and Co in 1911. (21 x 16 cm)