elema peoples mask.jpg

This type of masks called the “Eharo” belongs to the Elema people of Eastern Papua New Guinea, the designs on it are very interesting to look at. The surrounding area of the mask with it’s triangular pieces jutting out from the center almost have a sense of releasing some sort of energy. Also the elaborate look at on the face of the mask gives a petrifying feeling while looking at it. The image below’s eyes look very dilated indicating another sense of almost terror. The mask itself belonging to the Elema people  is meant to drive away evil spirits. Although  not spoken about in much conventional history, we mainly learn very little about the tribal  areas of Melanesia, Polynesia, and Micronesia. This practice of warding off evil spirits is definitely applied in this picture of the mask, seeing it’s various parts and seeing how they function in order to have the spirts go away. It’s amazing how this New Guinean tribe designed this and the beliefs that go into it. Looking at the name of the ritual associated with this “Eharo” mask, it is called the “Hevehe Cycle,” where the Elema try to find solace with the evil spirits of the land and sea. The rituals and practices of the Elema are quite fascinating to look at in the display of their masks and how sacred they are. Looking at the original purpose of the mask they were originally used for merriment and fun, but this other supernatural aspect of them brings a sense of awe and wonder to this ethnic Papuan group as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: