This ritual stone is no doubt connected to the spirit and yam ceremonies among the Abelam. The painted surface is very similar to colurs and designs used on carved wooden figures in the same ceremonies. Stone figures are very rare in the Sepik. Though this head has a certain crudness, it also has a strong visage, with nose, eyes and mouth, but dominated by the strong circular ear motifs.
The stone is very hard and heavy, possibly basalt or granite
Collected at Wingei village, eastern Abelam, in the late 1980s
Size: 17 x 10 x 14 cm
Price: $ 3,500