Figural hook

oceania | Papua New Guinea

Figural hook

Papua New Guinea

Sepik River

Carved wood, fiber
Early 20th century
Height: 28 in. (71 cm)

Ex collection Maurice Bonnefoy / d’Arcy Galleries, New York, 1960s-1970s
Exhibited: Neuchâtel Museum of Ethnography,
Switzerland, June 27- December 31, 1970
Ex Ader Picard Tajan, Paris, Dec. 18 1990, lot 11
Ex Christie’s Paris, December 2003, lot 54
Ex private collection Paris, acquired at the above sale

Sepik Ceremonial Hook Neuchâtel / Galerie Flak On hold
This highly expressive Sepik figure has great purity of forms. The deep, fine-aged patina, surface and signs of wear attests to the age and use of this figure.
As stated by Eric Kjellgren from the Metropolitan Museum of art in New York, « suspension hooks have both utilitarian and ceremonial functions. Suspended from the rafters by a cord, they are used to safeguard food, clothing, and other items, which are placed in baskets or string bags and hung from the hook-shaped prongs at the base to keep them out of reach of vermin. Most hooks are adorned with representations of ancestral spirits and totemic animals associated with the owner’s clan. 
In the past, some suspension hooks, especially those representing waken, the most powerful Iatmul supernatural beings, served as sacred images through which the supernatural beings they depicted could be consulted. Before embarking on a raid or hunting expedition, men gathered within the ceremonial house to consult the waken through the hook bearing its image. Offerings of chickens, betel nut, or other items were hung from the hook and then consumed by a human “attendant,” who went into a trance during which the waken spoke through him, providing advice. 
Primarily functional, household suspension hooks were also used to contact spirits about more minor matters. »

Documentation

Explore the entire collection
oceania
oceania | Papua New Guinea
New AcQuisitions | New Ireland
oceania | New Zealand
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | New Caledonia
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
New AcQuisitions | New Britain
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Fiji Islands
oceania | New Caledonia
oceania | Tonga Islands
New AcQuisitions | Papua New Guinea
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | Vanuatu
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | Marshall Islands
oceania | Andaman Islands
Bow
oceania | Solomon Islands
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | New Zealand
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | New Britain
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Australia
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Samoa Islands
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Marquesas Islands
oceania | New Zealand
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | New Britain
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Marquesas Islands
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Torres Strait
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Solomon Islands
oceania | Austral Islands
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Admiralty Islands
Archives | Andaman Islands
Bow
oceania | Cook Islands.
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Vanuatu
oceania | Hawai'i
oceania | Hawai'i
oceania | Australia
oceania | Samoa Islands.
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Australia
oceania | New Caledonia
oceania | Tonga Island
oceania | Solomon Islands
oceania | Australia
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Australia
oceania | Admiralty Islands
oceania | New Zealand
oceania | Admiralty Islands
oceania | Fiji Islands
oceania | Solomon Islands
oceania | Solomon Islands
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania
New AcQuisitions | New Zealand
Discover our collections
CoLLECTIoNS
Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter