University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Mummy Mask [Object of the Day #109]


By: admin

This Egyptian funerary mask from the late Ptolemaic or Roman Period (after 300 BCE) has a gilded face to suggest that the deceased had joined the gods in the afterlife.  It meant that now, the owner had skin and bones of gold, just like the gods. On the headdress, alternating stripes of gold and blue […]

Helmet Mask [Object of the Day #101]


By: admin

This type of helmet mask (tatanua) is worn by male dancers in large, multi-village funerary celebrations in central and northern New Ireland (Papua New Guinea).  It features a large, arching crest of reddish brown plant fiber and sides decorated with red and blue trade cloth and feathers.  The wood face, with straight open mouth and […]

Tunghak Mask [Object of the Day #71]


By: Alyssa Kaminski

  This Tunghak Mask is a dance mask used to call upon pagan spirits and hosts. The design of the object is meant to be representational of visions that evoke the “other world”. The mask is surrounded by five holes that represent pathways to the spirit world. Around these holes are where birds, seals, and […]

Bangongo Mask from the Congo [Object of the Day #25]


By: Amy Ellsworth

This mask face was made by the Bangongo people of the Belgian Congo. It is decorated with geometric designs and two metal studs between eyes. The hairline is decorated with blue and white beads and cowrie shells. Dark colored cloth used on top of mask as hair. Cowrie shells are attached in 15 rows. Woven […]

Nigerian Dance Crest [Object of the Day #8]

Dance Crest

By: Amy Ellsworth

This wooden dance crest of a female head was made in the 20th century by the Ekoi or Ejagham people of Nigeria. A hide covers her face and hair and short nails stud the part above forehead. Five hornlike projections, carved in fluted style, decorate her elaborate braided hairstyle. Penn Museum Object #82-1-1. View this […]

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