Superb Pair of New Guinea Sago Pegs Abelam People Prince Alexander Mountains East Sepik Province Papua New Guinea
|Size||Heights 65cm - 67cm|
A Superb Pair of Abelam Sago Washing Pegs (for processing sago palm into flour) Abelam People Prince Alexander Mountain Area in the East Sepik Province Papua New Guinea
This fine old pair of Sago Washing Pegs are tools used for processing Sago Palm into Sago Starch Flour for the Abelam People. Sago Pegs were used like Clothes Pin to hold a section of coconut fiber at the end of a trough to act as a sieve to drain away the starch from the interior pounded Sago Palm.
The tops of these Sago Pegs are beautifully carved and ochre painted in the form of an Ancestor’s Head surmounted by a Totemic Bird, this is a visual reminder of the presence of their ancestors in day-to-day activities. Some carvers were famous for their utilitarian carvings like these Sago Pegs and they were highly sought by family members and clan members. They are the finest pair I have ever had in 35 years.
Sago is the main staple food for many people living in Papua New Guinea and West Papua- Irian Jaya. The whole family or extended family would have to go out to make sago flour every 2 weeks or so. First, the people usually have to travel some distance to where there are still many Sago Trees belonging to their clan to cut down and process, they cut a small to medium size tree and then split it down the middle to access the pith inside the tree. This pith is then washed through a sieve and the Sago Peg holds the top of the sieve like a clothes peg. When the sago is washed thru this process it coagulates at the bottom of the sieve where when settles it can be cut into blocks and carried back to the village in homemade backpacks. This will feed a family for 2 weeks or so. Though the Abelam are famous gardeners of ceremonial Yams they also live on Sago. I have accompanied families to make sago a number of times and it is hard work !
Provenance: The Todd Barlin Collection of New Guinea and Oceanic Art
I first went to Papua New Guinea in 1985 for an adventure & what I found was that I really enjoyed being with the people of New Guinea, over the next 38 years I spent extensive time spent collecting and documenting traditional art & ceremonies in remote areas of Papua New Guinea & West Papua, The Solomon Islands & Vanuatu & the other Pacific Islands countries. During these travels, I made major collections of New Guinea & Oceanic Art for major Museums and Public Art Galleries
I was honoured by being in the prestigious Louvre Museum Magazine for the collections I made for The Museum of African & Oceanic Art Paris in 1996 (now the Musee Quai Branly) for the exhibition “Asmat et Mimika d’ Irian Jaya April 1996 At THE MUSEE NATIONAL des ARTS D’AFRIQUE et d’ OCEANIE, Paris
See all of the links & photos in my new EXHIBITIONS GALLERY and there is the link to the article in the prestigious Louvre Magazine 1996
I have artwork for Museums & Art Galleries but also for collectors at every stage of their collecting. I want to encourage people to explore the fine art of New Guinea & West Papua and the Pacific Islands and to be able to see and touch the artworks in a relaxed and friendly manner in my Sydney Gallery. I would like to invite you to visit my gallery and see the artworks in person and also look at my website www.oceanicartsaustralia.com where there are many Galleries & Sub Galleries to explore.
My Gallery of nearly 40 years is the last physical gallery in Sydney that specialises in New Guinea & Oceanic Art. Sydney is just a couple hours’ flight to New Guinea & the Pacific Islands where all of these amazing artworks came from, Australia’s closest neighbours.