Bahinemo Ancestral Figure, Korewori River, Hunstein Mountains, Papua New Guinea

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Lot 56
Bahinemo Ancestral Figure, Korewori River, Hunstein Mountains, Papua New Guinea

US$ 4,000 - 6,000
€ 3,800 - 5,700
Bahinemo Ancestral Figure, Korewori River, Hunstein Mountains, Papua New Guinea
garra or gra
Wood, pigments
height 23 1/4in (59cm)

PROVENANCE
Private Collection, Chicago, Illinois

Garra were 'hung when not in use from one of the interior side beams or "placed in a row inside the upper part of the ceremonial house gable" (Newton 1971: 19). During initiation ceremonies it was held between the legs of the dancers. It is a manifestation of a water spirit and should - presumably in the context of ritual - "be kept immersed in swamps or other watery places" (ibid.), though the hook shapes are variously interpreted as hornbill beaks and catfish antennae. Eyes of cassowaries and pigs and, for the central element, sun and moon, have also been mention as motifs (ibid.).' (Friede: 2005, p. 129)
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