F-8 Ritual Pottery Figure


F-8 Ritual Pottery Figure

Nukuma, Washkuk Hills, Upper Sepik River, PNG. Fired clay, pigment.

Ritual life among the two main groups of the Washkuk Hills, the Kwoma and Nukuma, are centred around the cyclical yam fertlity ceremonies. Impressive wooden sculptures are made, and also accompanying these are pottery figures. Of the two groups, the Nukuma have bolder pottery figures, with bolder colorations mainly in red and white. This figure, with a large phallic nose is typical. However it has added interest, in that around the base are numerous holes. These suggest that this figure was mounted in some way, possibly tied onto a pole, so that it hovered above the conical dispaly of piled yams, that are always a cemtral part of these ceremonies. This pot is from the second harvest ceremony, called Mindja. Other wooden figures accompany this ceremony, with similar large phallic noses and painted in slabs of red pigments, with details picked out in white. This is an early piece, collected in the early 1970s.


25 x 17 x 17 cm

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