< Back

Wood Head, Yangoru Boiken East Sepik Papua New Guinea

Enquire About This Artworks >
Collection No. T-2439
Size Height : 37cm
Wood Head, Yangoru Boiken East Sepik Papua New Guinea
Wood Head, Yangoru Boiken East Sepik Papua New Guinea

This finely carved and painted wood head called Idap was used in Yam Harvest ceremonies that are at the heart of the Abelam Boiken Cultures . One of the major focuses of ceremonial life among the Abelam people of northeast New Guinea is the competitive growth and exchange of long yams. The Abelam cultivate two distinct categories of yams—a small variety used as ordinary food and long yams, massive tubers that can be as much as twelve feet long. A man’s social status is determined largely by his success in growing long yams. Each man has a permanent exchange partner to whom he ceremonially presents his largest yams
following the annual harvest, later receiving those of his rival in return. Men who are consistently able to give their partners longer yams than they receive gain great prestige. Lavishly adorned for the presentation ceremony, the finest long yams are essentially transformed into human images, decorated in the manner of men in full ceremonial regalia. The “heads” of the enormous tubers are adorned with specially made yam masks such as this one, which are made exclusively for yams and are never worn by human

Dating from the early to mid 20th Century.  The Todd Barlin Collection



If you have a similar “object” for sale please contact me for the best price and honest advice by a Government approved valuer 

To see many more rare items and the finest masterpieces, please make an appointment with us to visit the gallery.

For all inquiries, please contact us.