Female
Spirit Figure

oceania | Papua New Guinea

Female
Spirit Figure

Papua New Guinea

Inyai-Ewa peoples
Korewori, Middle Sepik

Carved wood, pigments
Height: 50 in. (127 cm)
Probably 19th century

Ex collection Dr. Laurence R. Goldman
Ex Christie’s London. 22 June 1993, lot 142
Ex collection Christopher & Anna Thorpe, Sydney

Published: Sepik: Hooks, Figures & Masks, 2018
This impressive sculpture is distinguished by its decoration in polychrome pigments and the impression it gives of a swaying, dancing movement.
It depicts a standing female figure with a massive head and deeply carved features. The coiffure includes sharp, angular elements projecting from the top of the head. An indented beard-like corolla encircles the face. The torso is adorned with geometric elements highlighted by polychrome pigments. A second stylized face (with round eyes and a triangular mouth pointing downward) can be seen just below the shoulders.
This figure is from the collection of Laurence Goldman, a prominent collector of Oceanic art, and son of the celebrated anthropologist Dr. Philip Goldman who notably organized the groundbreaking exhibition, “Hunstein Korowori“ at Gallery 43, London in 1971.

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