|Kevin Lock - An Artifact's History|
|Recently, we went to the storage facility of the W.A. Museum to view and photograph the Eharo Mask I had donated to the museum in 1963. Silly me, I was only 22 years old and when I brought the packaged mask to my parent's house I was told to get rid of it......so I gave it to the museum. I know why my mother. wanted it out of the house. It is quite a large piece, around 1.2 metres high and needed a very large house to display it adequately. I should have kept it and sold it to the New York Met,
The mask was a traditional mask associated with Hevehe dance cycle in the Orokolo area of the Gulf Province of Papua. These dance cycles ran for yearsand at the end, the masks were destroyed and the cycle started again. Missionaries disapproved of these pagan ceremonies and by about 1932 they were no longer practised.In 1962-63, I was head teacher of Arehava Primary School near Orokolo and I contracted with one of the last mask-makersstill living to make me an Eharo.I think the price negotiated was either ten or thirty pounds...probably the former.It was beautifully crafted with wicker work and bark covering,painted with lime and orchres. The mask maker demanded that I shoot lots of sulphur crested cockatoos for the yellow feather trimming. When the mask was finished, it was delivered in a traditional sing-sing.
Kevin Lock by email 12/02/07