A Fine Old Karahut Ornament Abelam People East Sepik Province Papua New Guinea
This fine old used Karahut Ornament is from the Abelam People in the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea. Karahut Ornaments are very important ceremonial objects used during traditional ceremonies and initiations. In the form of a small figure woven from bush fibre rope made from tree bark and then decorated with boars tusks and Nassa Shells & lastly ochre painted. These were sometimes held in the mouth during ceremonies and at other times worn on the back of the Abelam dancers.
The complex male initiation cycle of the Abelam people is restricted to men. The Ceremonial Houses are decorated with carvings of spirit figures and totemic animals, These artworks were attached outside the entrance to the large ceremonial houses and also the entrances to the interior passages and into the initiation chamber. Inside the initiation chamber, with its brilliantly coloured paintings and carvings representing the clan spirits (nggwalndu) and other supernatural beings is revealed. Carved Figures are repainted many times, it likely witnessed the transformation of generations of novices into initiated men.
Provenance: The Todd Barlin Collection of Oceanic Art
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