- collected 1888
- MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
- Wood and pigment
- Architectural elements
- Overall: 84 3/8 x 15 1/2 x 4 13/16 in. (2 m 14.313 cm x 39.37 cm x 12.225 cm)
- Arts of the Pacific Islands
- Arts of the Pacific Islands - Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, Level 3
- CREDIT LINE:
- Dallas Museum of Art, The Roberta Coke Camp Fund
- Image courtesy Dallas Museum of Art
- OBJECT NUMBER:
On the east coast of Papua New Guinea, the land adjacent to the Huon Gulf and the small Tami Islands offshore form a distinctive Melanesian style area. The treatment of the human figure, which appears on architectural elements, neckrests, and ladles as well as free-standing sculpture, distinguishes objects in the Huon Gulf style: the forms are bold and blocky; incised lines provide detail; and human figures are invariably neckless, the head placed low on the chest, supported by hunched shoulders.
This panel was probably part of a men's ceremonial house (lum), which was closely associated with the ritual that accompanied a boy's initiation into manhood and participation in the religious life of the group. The depiction of a serpent or fish between the legs of many Huon Gulf figures may refer to a legend about a sea spirit that comes ashore in human form to seduce young men and women, who die as a result of the encounter.
DMA Label text.