The three major genres of mask on display are the ancestor masks, spirit masks, and tumbuan masks.
Ancestor masks are designed to resemble or represent humans and often have holes in the eyes as a distinguishing feature.
Small masks can be worn on the head during dances or ceremonies while others are mounted in homes and menís houses to represent ancestors.
Spirit masks represent non-human beings and are often designed to be mounted on walls and gables to protect the occupants of a home.
Tumbuans are also a type of spirit mask but are larger in size and designed to be worn over the head and shoulders, or the whole body, during performances of dances and mime that illustrate goings-on in the spirit world.
The majority of these masks are on display at the Nusa Island Retreat across from Kavieng on the island of New Ireland.