Baba mask

Abelam peoples, Papua New Guinea
20th century
Artist Unidentified, Pacific Islander

Object Place: Papua New Guinea


Overall: 35.1 x 28 cm (13 13/16 x 11 in.)

Accession Number


Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art



The Abelam of the Sepik region of Papua New Guinea made several types of masks. Baba masks, made of rattan, were used by the Abelam during ceremonies designed to usher deceased into the spirit realm. These masks were also used during male initiation cycles and mask wearers would scare away women, children, and non-initiated men from the ceremony.


Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart