Portrait Mask Maori Culture, New Zealand wood, Paua shell
6.25" highx 5.75" wide x 1.25" deep
Maoris, the original people of New Zealand, honor their ancestors through artwork, songs, and dances. This woodcarving is of an ancestor, and would have been found handing in a Maori meeting house. The lines on this mask mirror Maori tattoos, which, traditionally they had on their faces to make them look fierce, to scare off their enemies. Today some Maori people are reviving this tattoo tradition as they try to preserve their culture and identity.