Goabari Island, Western Papuan Gulf, PNG.

The figures with large heads and piercing eyes are said to represent the spirit who directed the Kerewa (Goabari) people from the west to their new homeland. He is said to be a powerful spirit who dwells in the clouds. Invariably the main background colour is white, and the stange “egg-like” forms at the feet are said to be his cloud home. Generally these ancestral boards are carved from the side of an old (war) canoe.

a) A stick-like figure, a large round head, and floating black eyes within an orange face.

b) This titihebia, with the hole at the top, could actually be a bullroarer, a large one. It seems to carved from an old paddle blade – unusually hard wood. Unknown collection number on back, L947, pencil on white.

c) Of the three titihebia this one is the most typical, especially the way the eyes are formed within the main face.

a) 71 x 20.5 cm
b) 61 x 15.5 cm
c) 77 x 18 cm

b) $800 c) $900 d) $800

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