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A Fine Old New Guinea Ancestor Figure Middle Sepik River East Sepik Province Papua New Guinea

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Collection No. TB-3819
Size Height 45cm Without the stand
Oceanic Arts Australia buys and sells tribal New Guinea art

A Fine Old New Guinea Janus Ancestor Figure Middle Sepik River Area East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea

This beautiful old Janus Ancestor Figure is from the Middle Sepik River area in the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea.  Carved in the form of male and female Ancestors standing back to back.  In the Sepik, there are traditional stories about pairs of siblings and their journeys in ancient times.

The villages of the Middle Sepik River region are divided into a number of clans, each of which is associated with specific ancestors and totemic animal species. These ancestral and totemic beings are represented by wooden figures kept in the men’s ceremonial houses. Wooden figures represent a category of powerful ancestral beings called waken and each figure owned by a specific clan is named for an important clan ancestor.

Ancestor figures were an important part of a community’s spiritual well-being, they offered protection from malevolent forces and help to ensure fertility for gardens growing large yams and taro as food sources.

Provenance: This figure was collected 80 years ago during WW2.   The Todd Barlin Collection of Oceanic Art Papua New Guinea Art

I first went to Papua New Guinea in 1985 for an adventure & what I found was that I really enjoyed being with the people of New Guinea, over the next 38 years I spent extensive time spent collecting and documenting traditional art & ceremonies in remote areas of Papua New Guinea & West Papua, The Solomon Islands & Vanuatu & the other Pacific Islands countries. During these travels, I made major collections of New Guinea & Oceanic Art for major Museums and Public Art Galleries

I was honoured by being in the prestigious Louvre Museum Magazine for the collections I made for The Museum of African & Oceanic Art Paris in1996 (now the Musee Quai Branly) for the exhibition “Asmat et Mimika d’ Irian Jaya April 1996 At THE MUSEE NATIONAL des ARTS D’AFRIQUE et d’ OCEANIE, Paris

See all of the links & photos in my new EXHIBITIONS GALLERY and there is the link to the article in the prestigious Louvre Magazine 1996

I have artwork for Museums & 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 & Oceanic Art. Sydney is just a couple hours’ flight 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 

To see many more rare items and the finest masterpieces, please make an appointment with us to visit the gallery.

For all inquiries, please contact us.