X67.1115 Ancestral spirit figure

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Object Name: Ancestral spirit figure

Artist: Unknown

Culture: Biwat peoples

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

Date/Era: 19th century or earlier

Medium/Materials: Wood, shells, beads, plant fiber

Dimensions: H: 28 in, W: 3.7 in, D: 4 in (H: 11.0 in, W: 1.4 in, D: 1.6 in)

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

Accession Number: X67.1115

Description

Artists from the Sepik River region sometimes combine human and animal imagery in a single work of art to reference spirits or animals associated with clan origin stories. The animal head at the base of this figure is both a boar and a crocodile. This rare object was probably held or worn during ritual dance performances.

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

See also: Marla C. Berns, World Arts, Local Lives: The Collections of the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, 2014.

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