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A Fine Old New Guinea Headrest East Sepik Province Papua New Guinea

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Collection No. SOLD - Please see other artworks from my galleries
Size Length 46cm
New Guinea & Oceanic Art
New Guinea Oceanic Art
Abelam New Guinea Art

A Fine Old New Guinea Headrest East Sepik Province Papua New Guinea

See more Fine Neckrest / Headrest in Neckrest Gallery

This old and well-used Headrest (neck rest) is from the Sepik Plains area in the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea. Finely carved at both ends with a stylized crocodile head.  Crocodiles play a central role in the art and culture of the Sepik River people. According to one of the Iatmul people’s Middle Sepik creation mythology, an ancestral crocodile was responsible for forming the land. In the beginning, the earth was covered by a primordial ocean, into whose depths the crocodile dived. Reaching the bottom, it brought up on its back a load of mud, which became an island when it surfaced. From that island, the land grew and hardened, but it continues to rest on the back of the ancestral crocodile, which occasionally moves, causing earthquakes.  Even today initiated Sepik Men have body scarification’s on their back, and chest shoulders to resemble crocodiles.

The horizontally carved part of this headrest is made from a single piece of hardwood & the legs of the headrest are made from strong bamboo.

Provenance; The John and Marcia Friede Collection NY: now his collection known as The JOLIKA Collection is now mostly in the De Young Fine Art Museum in San Francisco California. 

The Todd Barlin Collection of Papua New Guinea Oceanic Art



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