X63.671 Ceremonial house painting

Ceremonial house painting
Wom, Lower Sepik River, Papua New Guinea
Circa 1963
Sago palm spathe, pigment, plant fiber
Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Dr. and Mrs. George Kennedy. X63.671


This painting with its unusual masked face formed part of the decorated interior of a clan ceremonial house. The construction of such a house and the public unveiling of its decorations constitute one of the most important ceremonial events in the communities of the Sepik River region. The painted decorations illustrate episodes drawn from the origin stories of the clan.

Source: Gallery text, Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives, 2006