Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

bapa tagwa (helmet mask)
  • unknown Abelam maker
  • bapa tagwa (helmet mask), 1850s–1969
  • Where object was made: Maprik Region, Papua New Guinea
  • plant fiber, pigment, coiling
  • Object Height/Width/Length: 31 x 23 x 35 cm
    Object Height/Width/Length: 12 3/16 x 9 1/16 x 13 3/4 in
  • Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Franklin D. Murphy
  • Not on display
  • 1977.0029
Label Text

Cylindrical mask of coiled plant fiber. Large red ovals created from concentric ovals within the innermost white and black, with large vertical ridge between. Round projection at top has an openweave zigzag, and is red on the top surface with a knob-like within. Two small round protrusions on either side. Yellow semicircle on side of either eye, with black, red and white bands. Red, white and black striped semicircle behind projection on top of head.