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Cult House Figure, Sepik River Papua New Guinea


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Collection No. Y-64
Size 110x21cm
Cult House Figure, Sepik River Papua New Guinea
Cult House Figure, Sepik River Papua New Guinea
Cult House Figure, Sepik River Papua New Guinea
Cult House Figure, Sepik River Papua New Guinea

This rare old and used ceremonially Cult House Figure is from the Iatmul People in Middle Sepik River Area of the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea.  The iconography of a male ancestor figure surmounted by a bird is similar to a Cult House Finial that I have listed on my website, that Cult House Finial is clearly an outdoor object with real ancient weathered patina. This Ancestor Figure has a inside ceremonial purpose with the fine paintwork still intact.  On the first photo with the ancestor looking forward at the bottom near the feet is rope that looks like a sort of pulley system.  I have been told by a couple of real Sepik experts that there was figures with a pulley system that was used in some special ceremonies.  The side profile of this figure is very beautiful with the large bird resting on the shoulders of the ancestor. Below the bird carved in high relief is wavy lines that go all the way to the bottom of the figure where there is a single carved head. The carving is highlighted with white lime painting on the figure , bid and designs.

Provenance: Ex Alan Christensen Collection / Collected by Barry Hoare in the late 1960’s.
This unusual figure has a pully at the bottom & was obviously used in some ceremonial context.

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