A Fine Old Large Carved Pig Massim Culture Milne Bay Province Papua New Guinea
This very finely carved large Pig Effigy is from the Milne Bay Province in the Eastern part of Papua New Guinea. Dating from the late 19th to early 20th Century. Just as a sculpture it has a lot of charm and it definitely brightens my home and everyone seems to enjoy it.
Pigs in New Guinea are the most important animals for all communities, not only are they an important food source but also, they are a form of traditional wealth & currency. Wild boars are respected as powerful animals that can easily kill a man, they are also totemic clan emblems, in my time spent with the Marind Anim People on the South Coast of West Papua one of the most important clans were the Pig or Wild Boar Clan and they had a sacred Dema Costume for the Pig Clan.
Pigs are also gifted during traditional ceremonies can be used to make alliances between different clan groups but also when gifted they incur deep long-term commitments to be called on in the future when needed.
In New Guinea carved wood pigs would have ceremonial or ritual uses, pigs or boars appear on all kinds of ceremonial objects like giant Slit Gong Drums, Sacred Flutes, Trumpets & House Posts.
In the John Friede / Jolika Collection now at the De Young Museum in San Francisco, there is an ancient Massim carved wood pig that was carbon-dated 1520-1810 with a 95% probability. It has an ancient encrusted patina from handling and use. The Friede Pig Carving is basically the same size at 42.4 cm and in the same style with incised designs. It was published in the Jolika Collection bookplate 408 See photo above
Pigs sculptures have a long history going back to ancient China there were bronze & ceramic pig sculptures
The Todd Barlin Collection of Oceanic Art
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