Ancestor Figure Lower Sepik River East Sepik Province Papua New Guinea
This beautiful female Ancestor Figure is from the Lower Sepik River area in the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea. In the form of a younger woman in full health and with a warm happy smile on her face. Standing on a rounded base she is holding her hands to chest just above her full breasts, she is wearing a grass skirt of a married woman and has a fine shell pendant made from ground conus shell. The whole figure is covered in red Sepik ochre and white lime to highlight her eyes and mouth.
In the Sepik area each clan had carved figures which is associated with specific ancestors and totemic species. These ancestral and totemic beings are represented by wooden figures kept in the men’s ceremonial houses, these important ceremonial figures each had its own personal name. Ancestor figures were an important part of a communities spiritual well being, they offered protection from malevolent forces and help to ensure fertility for gardens growing large yams and taro.
This ancestor figure has been in my home quite a while now & I never tire of looking at her because she has such brightness and warmth, my friends kids love her too !
Provenance: Old Australian Collection. The Todd Barlin Collection of New Guinea Art and Oceanic Art and Asian Art.
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