A Fine Old Janus Ancestor Figure from the Middle Sepik River area of Province Papua New Guinea
|Size||Height 45cm Without the stand|
A Fine Old Janus Ancestor Figure East Sepik Province 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
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