X85.1075 Ancestor figure

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Not Currently On View in Intersections 


Ancestor figure
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


Ancestor figures, known as korwar, from Cenderawasih Bay functioned as oracles and were used by priests in rituals to transform the soul of someone who had died and allow it to live in the world of the ancestors. Discarded korwar were placed as guardians in graves.

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