Chris Boylan Oceanic Art

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F83 BETEL MORTAR

Bukie people, fringe Abelam, Sepik River region, PNG

Betel mortars, while common in many parts of the Sepik region are rather rare among the Abelam; this one is from a small group of people immediatelty to the north of the Abelam, called . This is a fine example, with two minimalist figures supporting a bowl that bends to one side. The bowl is encrusted with old betel.. One quite similar to this mortar appears in Margaret Meads pre-WW2 publication, “The Arapesh”.  This is simply and elegantly carved with a great patina. with some highlights in white

19th / early 20th Century.    Ex-Elizabeth Pryce collection, Sydney. EP-19

Size: 35 x 6 x 6 cm

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