Massim Figure Milne Bay Province Papua New Guinea
This superb Massim Double or Janus Figure is from the Milne Bay Province in the far Southeast part of Papua New Guinea. This very finely carved double figure in the form of the squatting figure with hands to the chin. The figures back to back share a base & conical shaped hat or headdress. The artists style is very distinct and recently I was looking at objects online and I saw a figure by the exact same hand and it was dated early 20th Century. I am looking for the photo which I filed and cant find right now but it is definitely the same artist & it had a early collection date.
Some of the finest carvers on the Island of New Guinea came the Massim Culture in the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea. These artists are well known for their amazing Lime Spatulas and Wealth objects but their early figurative art is less well know. In pre-European contact times certainly the made and used ancestor figures for traditional use in ancestor worship, soon I will list another Massim Figure that was known collected by Captain Thomson in 1896.
The well known 19th Century Massim Art Master carver Mutuaga was only one of the recognised master-carvers. I am going to soon show another important Massim Figure by a Mutuaga’s contemporary Banieva who was working at the same time as Mutuaga in his own distinct style.
Provenance: Collected in Milne Bay Province in the early 20th Century ( this carver is still being researched if you know anything about him I would be very grateful to hear ?
The Todd Barlin Collection of Pacific Islands Oceanic and New Guinea and Asian Art
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