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A Fine Old New Guinea Ancestor Figure Massim Culture Milne Bay Province New Guinea

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Collection No. SOLD but see lots more Fine Oceanic & Aboriginal Art on my website
Size Height 62cm
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A Fine Old New Guinea Ancestor Figure Massim Culture Milne Bay Province New Guinea

This fine Massim Ancestor Figure carving is from the Milne Bay Province in the Eastern end of Papua New Guinea.  This artwork was made for sale or trade with Europeans and probably dates from WW2 or slightly earlier. The carving of a male ancestor is unusual in that shows the male genitals, the early Missionaries in Milne Province discouraged anatomical correct carvings and you see most of the artworks from the early 20th Century are all without genitals.  It’s interesting if the carver of this figure was not particularly ” Christian minded “and didn’t care about offending anyone or just was being slightly provocative. The artist was a highly skilled carver who not only made a very beautifully proportioned figure he also decorated it with deeply incised spiral designs that the Massim artists are well known for.

Culturally the Milne Bay region is referred to as “the Massim,” a term originating from the name of Misima Island but is used to describe the artworks from the whole province made of 600 islands, about 160 of which are inhabited.

The regional trading systems of the islands around the eastern end of New Guinea are called Kula and are particularly elaborate trading systems where men had lifetime trading partners and social obligations and shell ornaments and cultural objects that constantly moved between communities.

The Massim artists are well known for their beautiful artworks such as Canoe Ornaments and their amazing Lime Spatulas used when chewing betel nut.  The Massim is one of my favorite art styles as their art is non-aggressive and also reminds me of the art of Lake Sentani an area in West Papua where I spent a lot of time.

Provence: The Todd Barlin Collection of New Guinea Oceanic 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.


If you have a similar “object” for sale please contact me for the best price and honest advice by a Government approved valuer 

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