Hook figure

Archives | Papua New Guinea

Hook figure

Papua New Guinea

Yipwon Hook figure
Korewori River, Middle Sepik

Carved wood and shell
First part of the 20th century
Height: 18 ¾ in. (48 cm)

Ex collection Naomi Lindstrom (1924-2014), USA
Ex collection Todd Barlin, Sydney

Sold
Flowing through the neighboring chains of hills and swamplands, the Korewori River (formerly the Karawari) is one of the numerous tributaries of the Sepik, the river that sustains the populations of the eastern part of the island of Papua New Guinea.
The discovery of Korewori art (Middle Sepik) constituted a major intellectual and artistic shock for the West.
In 1960, the Museum of Primitive Art in New York showed Korewori hook figures for the first time, but it was not until 1968 that a groundbreaking exhibition dedicated to the art of this region, “Caves of Karawari“ was organized at D’Arcy Galleries in New York.
This exhibition allowed the public to discover an aesthetic combining boldness of form, modernity, and ferocity.
In the ancient art of the Yimam (Yimar) and Inyai-Ewa populations living along the Korewori River, the human body is transformed, stylized and reduced to two-dimensional volumes. The tall yipwon hooks and anthropomorphic spirit figures feature silhouettes punctuated with curves and sharply pointed elements interacting with empty and full volumes.
The resonance of the ancient art of the Korewori with the work of artists like Henry Moore, Roberto Matta and Alberto Giacometti is fascinating.
The ritual figures called yipwon were linked to hunting and warfare. According to one of the founding myths of the Korewori, the yipwon were children of the Sun, conceived from wood shavings that fell during the carving of the first drum. One day, prompted by his warrior instinct, one of the yipwon children committed a murder. Out of fear of reprisal, he took refuge in the Men’s House and turned into a wooden statue. Outraged by the behavior of his offspring, the Sun left the Earth, leaving the yipwon there, their mission henceforth being to serve as guides for men, in particular on head-hunting expeditions against neighboring enemies.
Large-scale yipwon belonged to the whole clan; they were kept in the Men’s House or in sacred caves reserved for religious ceremonies. Small-scale charms were personal and used by individual warriors.
Before going to battle, the yipwon were invoked to insure the success of the war party, becoming responsible for extinguishing the vital energy and fighting spirit of their enemies, thus making them vulnerable during battle. In case of victory, yipwon were celebrated during ceremonies, receiving offerings of libations. In case of defeat, however, they were abandoned.
Yipwon sculptures feature both the interior and the exterior of the body, skeleton as well as internal organs, and facial features. The rounded parts in the middle of the hooks symbolize the vital core that fires up the warrior spirit.
The figure presented here is distinguished by its warlike elegance and dynamism.
It comes from the collection of Naomi Lindstrom (1924-2014), a passionate traveller who during her career at Pan Am crisscrossed the globe and assembled a remarkable collection of art from around the world.

video

Documentation

Explore the entire collection
Archives
North America | Alaska
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Gabon
Archives | Ivory Coast
Archives | Pentecost Island
Vanuatu (New Hebrides)
Archives | New Zealand
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Mexico
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Mali
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Gabon
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Solomon Islands
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | New Ireland
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Gabon
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Zealand
Archives | Ivory Coast
Archives | Gabon
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Marquesas Islands
Fan
Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Ireland
Archives | Mali
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Ivory Coast
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Fiji Islands
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Easter Island
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Gabon
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Mali
Archives | New Mexico
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Ireland
Archives | New Mexico
Archives | Mali
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Fiji Islands
Archives | Canada
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | New Mexico
Archives | New Zealand
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Mexico
Archives | New Ireland
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Australia
Archives | Marquesas Islands
Archives | Fiji Islands
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Woodlands, USA
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | New Mexico
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | New Ireland
Archives | Easter Island, Polynesia
Archives | Alaska, USA
Archives | Tonga
Archives | New Zealand
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Fiji Islands
Archives | Ubangi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Papuan Gulf
Papua New Guinea
Archives | New Mexico
Kachina Archives | New Mexico
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Nunivak Island, Alaska
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Gabon
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Korewori area
Papua New Guinea
Archives | Rio Xingu, Rio Iriri, Para, Brazil
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Gabon
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Cheyenne Warriors
Archives | Hawai'i
Polynesia
Archives | Lower Sepik
Papua New Guinea
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Mandak, New Ireland
Archives | Murik Lakes area, Lower Sepik
Papua New Guinea
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Aboriginals
Australia
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Gabon / Congo
Archives | Northwest Coast
British Columbia, Canada
Archives | Siberia
Archives | Korewori area
Papua New Guinea
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Papuan Gulf
Papua New Guinea
Archives | Trobriand Islands, Massim Area
Papua New Guinea
Archives | Ghana
Archives | Vanishing Race - Navaho
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Gabon
Archives | Lower Yukon, Alaska
Archives | Ivory Coast
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Rio Xingu, Rio Iriri, Para State, Bresil
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Korewori area
Papua New Guinea
Archives | New Britain
Archives | British Columbia, Canada
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | New Mexico
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Nigeria / Benin
Archives | Wahgi Valley, Western Highlands
Papua New Guinea
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Sioux Lakota, Plains
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Fiji Islands, Polynesia
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Nigeria
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Caledonia
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Mali
Archives | Hooper Bay, Alaska
Archives | New Britain
Archives | Nukuma, Washkuk Hills,
Papua New Guinea
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Korewori area
Papua New Guinea
Archives | Lower Sepik
Papua New Guinea
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Papuan Gulf, Papua New Guinea
Archives | Inupiaq Eskimo, Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Cheyenne, USA
Archives | Mali
Archives | Alaska
Archives | West Australia
Archives | Upper Sepik
Papua New Guinea
Archives | Yup'ik, Alaska
Archives | New Ireland
Archives | Old Bering Sea or Ipiutaq Culture
Alaska
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Eskimo, Alaska
Archives | Austral Islands
Archives | Bandiagara cliff
Mali
Archives | Roviana, Solomon Islands
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Maori
New Zealand
Archives | Santa Cruz,
Solomon Islands
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Tonga Islands
Archives | Gabon
Archives | OBS I, Alaska
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Hooper Bay, Alaska
Archives | Upper Missouri, U.S.A.
Archives | Irian Jaya,
Papua Province, Indonesia
Archives | Pacific Gulf, Alaska
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Bismarck Archipelago
New Britain
Archives | Tonga Islands
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Gabon
Archives | Burkina Faso
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Nunivak Island, Alaska
Archives | Burkina Faso
Archives | Ivory Coast
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Ivory Coast
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Mexico
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Korewori area
Papua New Guinea
Archives | Ghana
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | New Mexico
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Papuan Gulf,
Papua New Guinea
Archives | Ivory Coast
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Siberia
Archives | New Zealand
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Moundbuilders,
Mississippian Culture, USA
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | New Mexico
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska, USA
Archives | Sahara Desert
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Mali
Archives | Ra'ivavae
Austral Islands
Archives | Batie, Bamileke, Cameroon
Archives | Côte d'Ivoire
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | New Mexico
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Gabon
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Nigeria
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Ireland
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Archives | Alsaka
Archives | Plains, USA
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | New Caledonia
Archives | Admiralty Islands
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Plains, USA
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | St Lawrence Island, Alaska
Archives | Sioux Lakota Indians, U.S.A.
Archives | Marquesas Islands
Polynesia
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Wahgi Valley, Highlands
Papua New Guinea
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Mali
Archives | Marquesas Islands
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Marquesas Islands
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Northwest Coast, Canada
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Korewori Area
Papua New Guinea
Archives | Mali
Archives | Marquesas Islands
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Point Hope, Alaska
Archives | Kenya
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Ghana
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Gomlongon Village, Umboi Island, Huon Gulf,
Papua New Guinea
Archives | Aboriginal peoples, Australia
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Ubangi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Malaita, Solomon Islands
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Maori,
North Island, New Zealand
Archives | Nigeria / Cameroon
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Ivory Coast
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Moluccas (Maluku Islands),
Indonesia
Archives | Nigeria / Cameroon
Archives | Ivory Coast
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Zealand
Archives | Central Highlands,
Papua New Guinea
Archives | Malaita, Solomon Islands
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Orokolo Bay, Papuan Gulf, Papua New Guinea
Archives | Korewori,
Papua New Guinea
Archives | Wapo Creek, Papuan Gulf, Papua New Guinea
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Papuan Gulf
Papua New Guinea
Archives | New Caledonia
Archives | Ohio, USA
Archives | Ghana
Archives | Nigeria
Archives | Eskimo (Inuit), Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | New Mexico
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Massim
Papua New Guinea
Archives | Upper Missouri, U.S.A.
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Burkina Faso
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Sumba Island, Indonesia
Archives | Buka or Bougainville Island,
Solomon Islands Archipelago
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Highlands, Wahgi Valley
Papua New Guinea
Archives | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Archives | Iroquois Indians, U.S.A.
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Nunivak Island, Alaska
Archives | Plains or Great Basin Indians, U.S.A.
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Middle Hills, Magar?, Himalaya, Nepal
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Mexico
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Mexico
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Arizona or New Mexico
Archives | New Mexico
Archives | Lower Sepik,
Papua New Guinea
Archives | Fiji Islands
Archives | Marquesas Islands
Archives | Kapingamarangi Atoll, Polynesian outlier, Micronesia
Archives | Western Australia
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Africa | Nigeria
Archives | Ivory Coast
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Ivory Coast
Archives | Papua New Guinea
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | New Ireland
Archives | Nigeria
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Mali
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
North America | Arizona
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
North America | Arizona
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Alaska
Archives | Canada
Archives | Alaska
Kachina Archives | Arizona
Archives | Canada
North America | Alaska
Archives | New Mexico/Arizona
North America | Alaska
Kachina Archives | New Mexico
Archives | Ivory Coast
Discover our collections
CoLLECTIoNS
Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter