From ancient to modern times, people of all cultures have worn masks - to hide, have fun, for decoration or protection, to transform themselves or assume different identities, and as part of important religious and funerary rituals. Spirit Faces, which opens on 11 February 2012, takes you through a selection of Melanesian masks from New Guinea, New Caledonia and Vanuatu. Discover the different functions of the masks, their diverse styles and range of materials used for construction, and the stories associated with them. Some were used in performances for rituals, social events and festivals and commemoration at funerary rites, and there are others whose true meaning we don’t yet know.
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Australian Museum 11 February