Old Sago Pounder Sepik River Area Papua New Guinea
This finely carved & well used Pounder in the form of a long beaked bird. Pounders like this example are an essential tool for processing Sago that is the main staple diet for many people living in the lowlands or coastal areas of New Guinea. The pith of the sago palm tree contains edible starch and is used for making sago flour . Before use, the starch must be carefully washed to leach out toxins contained in the pith. Extracting edible starch from the sago palm tree requires special care due to the poisonous nature of cycads. The starchy residue is then dried and cooked. This pounder was used in this process by mashing the sago tree pith which is then washed through a sieve to collect the sago flour. Birds in New Guinea are very important clan totems and anthropomorphic bird men are seen throughout the Sepik River area.
This beautiful object comes on a fine custom made steel stand so that it can be displayed on a table of shelf or on the floor.
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