This eharo mask was made by an unknown person in what is today Papua New Guinea. It was acquired by the Museum of Toulouse in 1882.
According to its caption on Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository that holds much of the images, videos, and sounds used in Wikipedia articles, “the eharo masks were worn during ritual dances, before formal sacred rituals. They were intended to be humorous figures, dancing with groups of women to the amusement of all.”
Wikipedia may be the largest encyclopedia ever written, but eharo masks are also a prime example of how far we have yet to go. Its English language version does not have an article about these masks, and the article about Papua New Guinean art is under 200 words long.
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As it uses Creative Commons’ CC0 license, this particular photo is free for you to use for any purpose and with zero requirements. More broadly, most of the holdings on Wikimedia Commons is available for you to use with only a few restrictions—usually just crediting the author, copyright license, and linking to the original URL.
Ed Erhart, Senior Editorial Associate, Communications
This post is the fifth installment of a new weekly series for us. Tune back in next week for another photo selection from Wikimedia Commons; you can sign up for our MailChimp mailing list to be notified when the next edition is published.