Hook figure

oceania | Papua New Guinea

Hook figure

Papua New Guinea

Cult figure for a ceremonial house

Nggala people, Upper Sepik

Carved wood and pigments
Early 20th century
Height: 47 ¼ in. (119 cm)

Collected by Wayne Heathcote circa 1974
Ex collection Douglas Newton(1920-2001), New York
Ex collection Marcia & John Friede (Jolika), New York

Nggala Figure 119 cm / Galerie Flak Price on request
This exceedingly rare hook figure was attached to the beam of a ceremonial house in the the Nggala area (between the Sepik and the April River beyond the Hunstein Mountains).
It is said to represent a powerful spirit associated with magic plants and was used in healing and initiation rituals. Douglas Newton, who previously owned this sculpture, illustrated a similar example in his book "Crocodile & Cassowary" devoted to the cultures of the Upper Sepik in 1971 (Museum of Primitive Art, New York. A photograph of a similar figure inside the ceremonial house can be seen on page 40 and another example is illustrated plate 68).
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