Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
6.01.0493.HMC
Title:
Standing Figures For Sale
Place:
Lower Sepik, Angoram Village Market, Papua New Guinea
Description:
A row of standing carved figures for sale on the dirt ground. Wooden pole structure with thatched roof behind and another structure seen on the left covered with a large blue tarp. A child enters the image from the right corner carrying banana leaves. A small group of villagers stand to the left beside the tarped structure. There are two moderately ornamented dark figures on the ground on the left, two highly ornamented and painted standing figures on the right side, a smaller one even further to the right and in front of the larger figures.

Four tall sculptures and one small ancestor sculpture are displayed at the Angoram village market on the Lower Sepik River. Angoram, the oldest and largest Sepik station, was established by the Germans before World War II and is now the administrative center for the Lower and Middle Sepik regions. Items made in nearby villages of the region are sold at the Angoram market. Most of them are made for tourists. The two darkened wood sculptures are made in Angoram. They are called ancestral dream carvings. Each has feathers from the cassowary flightless bird. The two multi—colored sculptures are non—traditional with many symbols combined onto one large standing piece. The small wood figure to the right, near the child carrying fresh leaves, is a traditional ancestor figure with a typical top notch on his head and a long nose symbolizing wisdom. Often, small ones, such as this figure are amulets that are carried for good luck.
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