Southern Abelam Cane Yam Mask-New Guinea Art-Oceanic Art
There is a definite subset of Southern Abelam cane yam masks with a flat, leaf-shaped back sections with small avian heads jutting out at the bottom. Are these the hallmarks of a particular artist, clan or village? I can’t really say. But of this subset this is one of the finest. It is extremely tightly constructed, has thick layers of pigments (signs of repeated ritual use) and a great dark brown aged patina on the reverse. It dates to the early 20th century, is 15 ½” (39.4 cm) in height and sells for $1800.