About the object
The Baining, who live in the mountainous interior of New Britain, make a variety of barkcloth masks. The size and shape of the lightweight fabric masks stretched over a bamboo frame vary according to their purpose. In addition to the masks for the nocturnal dances, the themes of which are the dangerous creatures of the bush, spiritual and earthly, the masks of the day dances are female in character. Men still wear them but more for public display.