Image Pare 'eva (festival mask), c1906

TLF ID R2472

This is a conical mask created in the Cook Islands in about 1906. The mask is constructed of tapa (barkcloth) over a light cane frame. A pole extends above the tip of the cone and is decorated with fibres and feathers. The eyes and mouth are cut out, and the tapa is hand-painted with black designs. Lines around the eyes and mouth indicate lashes and a moustache. An inverted triangle sits above the eyes, and four horizontal bands of paired triangles rise above it. Dashed lines radiate below the mouth and from the central triangle. On the back are five more horizontal bands with paired triangles separated by dashed motifs. The mask measures 35.3 cm x 24 cm x 65.5 cm.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This asset is an example of an early 20th-century mask from Mangaia in the Cook Islands - it is not known why the mask was made or how it was used, but it probably had religious significance.
  • It derives its name from 'eva - festivals or feasts, with dancing and singing.
  • It illustrates one of the many uses of tapa, a paper-like cloth made in the Pacific Islands by pounding tree bark, often from the paper mulberry tree ('Broussonetia papyrifera').

Other details

  • Content provider
  • Copyright holder
  • Organisation: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Remarks: Reproduced courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Publisher
  • Date of contribution: 29 Aug 2013
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia
  • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Colour independence
  • Device independence
  • Hearing independence
Learning resource type
  • Image
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer - minimum version: 8.0 (MS-Windows) - maximum version: 9.0 (MS-Windows)
  • Firefox - minimum version: (MS-Windows)
  • Safari - minimum version: 5.1 (MacOS)
Operating systems
  • MacOS - minimum version: 10.6
  • MS-Windows - minimum version: XP - maximum version: 7
  • © Education Services Australia Ltd and Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements