A Yimar spirit hook figure, yipwon
Lot 540
A Yimar spirit hook figure, yipwon
Sold for US$ 24,000 inc. premium
Auction Details
A Yimar spirit hook figure, yipwon
Lot Details
Property of various owners
A large and fine Yimar spirit hook figure, yipwon
Papua New Guinea, Karawari River, the flat and softly rounded form carved with two downward pointed hooks at the top, an elegant angled head unusually carved to the middle section and with pierced, serrated crest and nostril, incised mouth and pursed lips, above three opposing hooks, the sexual organs carved above the weathered, tapering limb.
height 84 ¼in


  • Provenance:
    Collected prior to 1965 by Rudy Ceasar
    Barry Hoare, Cairnes
    Chris Boylan, Sydney

    Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana 2005
    University Art Gallery, Governors State University, Richton Park, Illinois 2006
    Loyola University Art Gallery, Chicago, Illinois 2006

    Made of dense and heavy garamut wood, large clan hunting and war spirits such as this example, were made by the Yimar and Alambak peoples of the upper Karawari river. This powerful and monumental example is noteworthy in that not only is the head unusual, but it is also placed in the center of the body, rather than the top.

    Stone-carved, and with traces of pigment, this fine old hook figure would have served as the repository for a powerful bush spirit; the entity being called forth to abide in the statue. In the early 1960’s when this image was collected, the younger generation of the Yimar and Alambak, increasingly non-traditional yet still fearful of the power of these objects, availed themselves of the Western desire to purchase and remove these statues from their midst, thereby protecting their villages from disease and calamity.