Abelam Yam Mask & Yam Decoration-New Guinea Art-Oceanic Art Most of you know by now my love for Abelam yam masks—which were the topic of my master’s thesis at UC Santa Barbara twenty-five years ago. While I was successful in field collecting some superb early examples, finding good old ones these days is shockingly hard. Cane yam masks are hardly rare but those showing good age, real field use and unusual or compelling aesthetics are now almost nonexistent. Thus, I am quite happy with these two. The left comes from my friend Paul Rossi, and it is a charming small one with white, yellow and blue pigments. The right is not actually a yam mask but was often stuck into the decorated yam to the side of the yam mask and also sometimes into the headdress of a fully decorated male initiate. This one is rare with its small balsawood face. The yam mask is 5 ¾” (14.8 cm) in height, the yam decoration with its thin stick is 14 ½” (36.8 cm) in height. They both date to the early/mid 20th century and sell as a set for $1500.