Headrest Eastern Highlands Papua New Guinea
This old and well used Headrest (neckrest) is from the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea. In the form of a Zoomorphic animal that used the natural shape of the tree branch it was made from. This example the artist added a small mouth which creates a further reading of it as a animal rather than a natural shape.
Three legged Headrest are found in other areas like East Africa and it must be a pleasing & functional manner in which to make a Headrest sturdy to lay ones neck on when resting. In New Guinea many of the cultural groups the men had elaborate hair styles that took time and effort to maintain. The Headrest kept their hair from touch the ground and getting flat while sleeping. We have a hard time understanding how this could be comfortable enough to be able to sleep but it must be okay since cultures around the world made & used wood headrests like this example.
I collected this Headrest from people near the area of Kainantu in the Eastern Highlands in 1986. I have enjoyed looking at it ever since because any way you look at it its moving, it looks like an animal stretching its back as dogs do when the lean forward
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