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Ancestral figure

This figure, from Kamanibit Village on the north coast of Papua New Guinea, was kept in the spirit house where it was given the power to protect the village from unfriendly water spirits called maselei. This was especially important during ceremonies when flutes and bull-roarers announced the presence of the paramount spirit of the region’s Iatmul people.

The main figure is masked and is sitting on a stool with legs made of male and female figures decorated with shell and fibre necklaces, and fibre girdles.

Ancestral figure (c. 1930)
 Ancestral figure (c. 1930)

 Ancestral figure (c. 1930)

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Ancestral figure (c. 1930), wood, shell and natural fibres
Dimensions H 152 x W 49 cm
Registration No. X 83664
Image source: Museum Victoria

© Museum Victoria Australia