Flute stopper carved in wood, Papua New Guinea, early 20th century
Ornamental figure of ceremonial anthropomorphic sacred flute stopper, representing a kneeling man (an ancestor) surmounted by an eagle (Ngawi), from the Sepik river valley, northern region of Papua New Guinea.
The figure of the eagle ngawi is very important among Iatmul language groups. Celestial incarnation of the mythical ancestors, it symbolizes, "the expression of the physical force and the warrior power of the village".
Sacred flutes, still widely used, are musical instruments played during initiation ceremonies. They are considered to be the voices of the ancestors of the clan.
Wood enhanced with natural pigments.
Wood and shell eyes.
Provenance: private collection
Collector's piece of primitive Oceanian, Melanesian art, unique and unusual in the spirit of cabinets of curiosities.
In its juice, old patina of brown use, thick and crusty revealing traces of pigments.
DIMENSIONS : H30xW5.5xD6cm
DATE: First half of the 20th century
ORIGIN: Papua New Guinea, Sepik, Oceania, Melanesia
WEIGHT : 0.700kg