Intersections

Proclaiming Heritage

Among the most important arts of the Austronesian peoples (who include today’s Indonesians, Filipinos, Polynesians, and others) are the carving of ancestor figures and the recitation of oral histories. The intersection of these arts preserves knowledge of the community’s heritage. The carved figures, often mounted in prominent locations in villages, serve as ever-present reminders of those who came before. By reciting genealogies and lists of place names, orators evoke the movements of ancestors and support the current leaders’ claims to authority. The ways of the ancestors are honored to secure their blessing, which promotes health, prosperity, and fertility in the community, fields, and fishing grounds.   Although the works displayed here were mostly made in the nineteenth or early twentieth century, this outlook remains influential to varying degrees today in communities ranging from remote atolls to great urban centers.

  • X63.642 Ceremonial house painting

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    Object Name: Ceremonial house painting

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Iatmul peoples

    Place of Origin: Tambanum village, Middle Sepik River, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea

    Date/Era: Early or mid-20th century

    Medium/Materials: Sago palm (Metroxylon sagu) spathe, pigment, wood, bamboo, plant fiber

    Dimensions: L: 243 cm

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Dr. and Mrs. George Kennedy.

    Accession Number: X63.642

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  • X64.599 Ngwaalndu figure, clan ancestor spirit

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    Object Name: Ngwaalndu figure, clan ancestor spirit

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Abelam peoples

    Place of Origin: Maprik district, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea

    Date/Era: Mid- to late 19th century

    Medium/Materials:

    Dimensions: H: 165 cm

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Dr. and Mrs. George Kennedy.

    Accession Number: X64.599

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  • X64.686 Mask (bapa tagwa or bapa kumbu)

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    Object Name: Mask (bapa tagwa or bapa kumbu)

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Abelam peoples

    Place of Origin: Maprik district, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea

    Date/Era: Mid-20th century

    Dimensions: H: 40.6 cm

    Medium/Materials: Plant fiber, pigment, feathers

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Dr. and Mrs. George Kennedy.

    Accession Number: X64.686

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  • X64.715 Female figure

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    Object Name: Female figure

    Artist: Unknown

    Place of Origin: Murik Lakes, Coastal Sepik region, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea

    Date/Era: 19th century or earlier

    Medium/Materials: Wood

    Dimensions: H: 70 cm

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Dr. and Mrs. George Kennedy.

    Accession Number: X64.715

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  • X64.843 Yam-harvest ritual figure (yina)

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    Object Name: Yam-harvest ritual figure (yina)

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Kwoma peoples

    Place of Origin: Ambunti Mountains, Middle Sepik River, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea

    Date/Era: Circa 1920s

    Medium/Materials: Wood, pigment

    Dimensions: H: 116 cm

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hursley.

    Accession Number: X64.843

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  • X65.3102, X65.3103 Posts with ancestor figures

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    Object Name: Posts with ancestor figures

    Artist: Unknown

    Place of Origin: Leti Island, Southwest Moluccas, Indonesia

    Date/Era: Probably 19th century

    Dimensions: H: 175 cm

    Medium/Materials: Wood

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust.

    Accession Number: X65.3102, X65.3103

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  • X65.4326 Shield

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    Object Name: Shield

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Iatmul peoples

    Place of Origin: Middle Sepik River, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea

    Date/Era: Late 19th century or earlier

    Medium/Materials: Wood, pigment

    Dimensions: H: 158 cm

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA.

    Accession Number: X65.4326

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  • X65.4990 Male figure

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    Male figure
    Admiralty Islands, Papua New Guinea
    19th-early 20th century
    Wood, pigment
    X65.4990; Gift of the Wellcome Trust

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  • X65.5679 Ancestor figures (adu zatua)

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    Object Name: Ancestor figures (adu zatua)

    Artist: Unknown

    Place of Origin: North Nias Island, Indonesia

    Date/Era: Collected before 1907

    Medium/Materials: Wood, plant fiber

    Dimensions: W: 69 cm

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust.

    Accession Number: X65.5679

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  • X65.7433 Doorjamb (jovo)

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    Doorjamb (jovo)
    New Caledonia
    19th century
    Wood
    X65.7433; Gift of the Wellcome Trust

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  • X65.8157 Bin for storing millet

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    Object Name: Bin for storing millet

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Rukai peoples

    Place of Origin: Taiwan

    Date/Era: 19th to early 20th century

    Medium/Materials: Wood, rattan

    Dimensions: W: 106 cm

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum purchase.

    Accession Number: X65.8157

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  • X65.8158 Architectural panel

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    Architectural Panel
    Paiwan peoples
    Taiwan
    Early 20th century
    Wood
    H: 175.0 cm, W: 51.0 cm, D: 6.0 cm (H: 68.9 in, W: 20.1 in, D: 2.4 in)
    Museum purchase. X65.8158

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  • X85.1072 Ancestor figure for house altar

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    Object Name: Ancestor figure for house altar

    Artist: Unknown

    Place of Origin: Bawömataluo, Nias, Indonesia

    Date/Era: Probably 1870s

    Medium/Materials: Wood, cloth

    Dimensions: H: 39.5 cm, W: 10.0 cm, D: 11.0 cm (H: 15.5 in, W: 3.9 in, D: 4.3 in)

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. The Jerome L. Joss Collection.

    Accession Number: X85.1072

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  • X85.1075 Ancestor figure

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    Ancestor figure
    Korwar
    Cenderawasih Bay, West Papua (New Guinea), Indonesia
    19th-early 20th century
    Wood and glass beads
    H: 26.3 cm, W: 11.5 cm, D: 15.3 cm (H: 10.4 in, W: 4.5 in, D: 6.0 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. The Jerome L. Joss Collection. X85.1075

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  • X86.3137 Offering post

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    Object Name: Offering post

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Tetun peoples

    Place of Origin: Dafala, Belu, West Timor, Indonesia

    Date/Era: Probably 19th century or earlier

    Dimensions: H: 92.7 cm, W: 30.4 cm, D: 24.1 cm (H: 34.5 in, W: 11.9 in, D: 9.5 in)

    Medium/Materials: Stone

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. The Jerome L. Joss Collection.

    Accession Number: X86.3137

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  • X86.3280 Hearth post

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    Hearth post
    Ifugao peoples
    Northern Luzon, Philippines
    19th-early 20th century
    Wood
    L: 90.2 cm, W: 18.4 cm (L: 35.5 in, W: 7.2 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Rogers Family Foundation. X86.3280

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  • X89.705 Sago storage jar (au)

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    Object Name: Sago storage jar (au)

    Artist: Unknown

    Cultural Group: Iatmul peoples

    Place of Origin: Aibom, Chambri Lakes, Middle Sepik River, Papua New Guinea

    Dimensions: H: 56.00 cm, DIAM: 54.00 cm

    Materials Used: Unglazed earthenware, pigment

    Credit Line and Accession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wallace M. Ruff Trust. X89.705

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  • X91.5703a-d Canoe (tatara)

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    Object Name: Canoe (tatara)

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Yami peoples

    Place of Origin: Botel Tobago Island [Lan Yü], Taiwan

    Date/Era: Early 20th century

    Medium/Materials: Wood, paint, feathers, twine

    Dimensions: L: 460.0 cm, W: 95.3 cm, H: 137.0 cm (L: 181.1 in, W: 37.5 in, H: 53.9 in)

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Anonymous gift.

    Accession Number: X91.5703a-d

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  • X91.613a,b Ancestor figures

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    Object Name: Ancestor figures

    Artist: Unknown

    Cultural Group: Nage peoples

    Place of Origin: Central Flores, Indonesia

    Date: 19th-early 20th century

    Dimensions: H: 57.50 cm, W: 18.50 cm, D: 13.00 cm

    Materials Used: Wood

    Credit Line and Accession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. The Jerome L. Joss Collection. X91.613a,b

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  • X96.8.43 Mask

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    Object Name: Mask

    Artist: Unknown

    Place of Origin: Lower or Coastal Sepik region, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea

    Date/Era: 19th century or earlier

    Dimensions: H: 48 cm

    Medium/Materials: Wood, paint

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Franklin D. and Judith H. Murphy.

    Accession Number: X96.8.43

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