New Acquisitions

Marupai charm

Papuan Gulf
Papua New Guinea

Personal spiritual charm

Carved coconut and pigments
20th century
Length: 4 in. (10 cm)

Price: on request

Melanesia – Papua New Guinea
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Marupai were hunting or personal spiritual charms. They served a variety of functions (protection, sorcery, divination and much more). As stated by Richard Aldridge (2012), Gulf of Papua art is essentially religious in nature. The faces on marupai represent mythical heroes. Not all these ancestral heroes are human with many being able to take the forms of crocodiles, lizards, birds, pigs and even natural phenomena such as whirlpools, they should nevertheless all be considered deities.