Lot: 13

Ceremonial mask "brag", 1930-1940

Papua New Guinea, Lower Sepik - Ramu

Provenance Size Hammer price
Bacquart, Jean-Baptiste, London, Great Britain / Paris, France
Galerie Flak, Paris, France
Magnus Svensson, Broby, Sweden
H: 13.8 inch sold

wood, red ochre, lime, shell discs, base

The "brag" spirit is characerised as male and warlike, seducing women and devouring young initiates before spitting them back to their mothers as adult men. A symbolic act that symbolises the transformation of boys into adult men.

The "brag" masks were consulted before headhunting raids and given food and blood. After a successful raid, the severed head of the victim was rubbed on the masks so they could "drink the blood". The young men likewise drank the blood of the severed head to make them strong and fearless in battle.

Certificat d' Authenticité, Julien Flak, Paris, 20 January 2015
Conru, Kevin (ed.), Sepik Ramu Art, Brussels 2019, p. 235 ff.
Galerie Flak, "Rites et Formes de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée", Paris 2009, p. 60 and p.108