A Kerewa Skull Rack, agiba, Goaribari Island, Papua New Guinea
height 46in (116.8cm) of anthropomorphic form with a fully round, but smaller head than typical Goaribari agiba, flared shoulders and stylized openwork body, the facial and rib-cage carved in high relief; fine aged, weathered patina with remnants of orange, white and red pigments.
Field collected by Dick Randolph, a crocodile hunter, on the Turama River circa 1960.
Richard Aldrige Collection
Private Collection, Chicago
Agiba were receptacles of sanctity, imbued by the skulls of enemies and animals suspended on the vertical hooks inside the figure. Agiba were kept inside the men's houses and each clan had its own. Douglas Newton comments, there can be no doubt of their importance and sanctity, Newton (1961).