Papua New Guinea Ancestral Figure


The ancestral sculptural figures of Papua New Guinean culture are used to contain the spirits of recently deceased ancestors. The totemic sculptures are kept as guardians in men's ceremonial houses and are consulted for advice on activities such hunting and harvesting. The figures are either praised or rejected depending on the profit of their counsel. While this practice is consistent over Papua New Guinea, the innumerable tribes create a vastly differing wealth of artistic styles and designs.

This hand-carved male wooden figure contains beautifully decorative elements, noted in the face and arm designs. The feet and hands are crudely shaped into animalistic appendages and his elegant proportions are suggestive of dance.

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