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A Superb Old Bowl Wuvulu or Matty Island Manus Province Papua New Guinea Micronesian Outlier


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Collection No. TB-2471
Size Length 42cm and Width 30cm
Oceanic Arts Australia buys and sells tribal New Guinea art

A Superb Old Bowl Wuvulu or Matty Island Manus Province Papua New Guinea Micronesian

This unique hourglass-shaped bowl called apia nie is from Wuvulu Island also known as Matty Island is part of the Western Islands of The Bismarck Archipelago in Manus Province of Papua New Guinea. Wuvulu is considered to be a Micronesian outlier because some islands in Papua New Guinea are inhabited by Micronesian settlers.

The unique hourglass-shaped bowls, created on the islands of Wuvulu and Aua embody the spare, minimalist aesthetic of Micronesian art. They were made to be used specifically to collect coconut milk, extracted by squeezing balls of grated coconut meat over the bowl. The wide shallow ends of the bowls curve gently downward toward the deeper centre, in which the freshly squeezed liquid collects. Many older bowls like this fine example develop a distinctive glossy patina through years of contact with the oil in the coconut milk.

Though still made and used today the newer examples now look chunky with thick uneven walls and they have none of the fineness of the old bowls like fine examples.

In the 38 years of my collection of Oceanic Art, it is one of the finest Wuvulu Bowls that I ever had the chance to acquire.  It is  “pure form” and it is a joy to look at.

Provenance:   The Todd Barlin Collection of New Guinea Art & Oceanic and Asian Art.

See my new EXHIBITIONS GALLERY  showing the Museums and Art Galleries Exhibitions that I provided artworks for over the past 40 years. There is the link to the article about my artworks published in the prestigious Louvre Magazine in 1996

I have artwork for Museums and art Galleries but also for collectors at every stage of their collecting. I want to encourage people to explore the fine art of New Guinea & West Papua and the Pacific Islands and to be able to see and touch the artworks in a relaxed and friendly manner in my Sydney Gallery. I would like to invite you to visit my gallery and see the artworks in person and also look at my website www.oceanicartsaustralia.com where there are many Galleries & Sub Galleries to explore.

My Gallery of nearly 40 years is the last physical gallery in Sydney that specializes in New Guinea and Oceanic Art.  Sydney is very close to New Guinea & the Pacific Islands where all of these amazing artworks came from, Australia’s closest neighbors.

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