Fine Kwoma Spirit Figure, Washkuk Hills, Namau Ablatar, Uppe...



$2,600 - $3,600


Fine Kwoma Spirit Figure, Washkuk Hills, Namau Ablatar, Upper Sepik River, Papua New Guinea. Carved and engraved hardwood and natural pigment. The large face of elongated lozenge form sits on a spike, the domed head with deep brow above the tubular proboscis with pierced septum, it’s eyes projecting from the facial plane, it has a diminutive mouth open with tongue mischievously wagging with three waves like a snake below the mouth; painted overall on the front with designs on the edge and somewhat symmetric curvilinear designs within the border in black and yellow pigments; with aged patina consistent with age and use in the culture. ...Kwoma yina (at any rate in recent times) are much larger than those of the Kukuma, about four or five feet to about nine feet high (151-152). the faces are much longer in proportion to the brow area, and often are deeply concave. The nose is long, and projects downward from the brow, detached from the face. The eyes are conical projections, sometimes set at the tips with discs of conus shell. The small ears are set high at the sides of the brow. The mouths are u-shaped...Among the Nukuma, a protruding tongue is said to indicate female yina. Behind the head there protrude downwards one or more long spikes; these represent the yina’s daggers of human thigh bone such as were carried by important men. These occasionally suggest in form hornbill heads; this recalls that generally through the area hornbill beaks were worn by homicides attached to net bags worn on their backs (see 104).” (Newton: 1971, pp 84-15). Approx L180cm. PROVENANCE John Magers Collection, Sydney. cf. (Ibid.) Figures 151 and 152, formerly in the Museum of Primitive Art, New York (69.17 and 69.111).

Auction Date: 18th Mar 2023 at 6pm

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Sale Dates:
18th Mar 2023 6pm (Lots 1 to 360)

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