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Spirit Dog Figure, Holik Village, Yangoru / Boiken Area East Sepik Province , PNG


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Collection No. TB-1184
Size Height: 90.4 cm
Spirit Dog Figure, Holik Village, Yangoru / Boiken Area  East Sepik Province , PNG
Spirit Dog Figure, Holik Village, Yangoru / Boiken Area  East Sepik Province , PNG

The artist has used the woods natural shape to help create this beautiful stylized spirit dog figure.

This important Cult House Spirit Figure was photographed insitu by Douglas Newton ( Former Curator of Oceanic Art at The MET NY) on August 8, 1970, the photo was published in “Oceanic Art by Kaeppler, Kaufmann & Newton 1990 Page 573

The complex male initiation cycle of the Abelam people is restricted to men. The Ceremonial House is decorated with carvings spirit figures and totemic animals, like this stylized spirit dog. 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.

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