Headhunting Pole


Location: On Display in the Museum Library

From: New Guinea | Indonesia | Irian Jaya

Curatorial Section: Oceanian

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Native Name Bisj
Object Number 59-9-2
Current Location Museum Library - On Display
Culture Asmat
Provenience New Guinea | Indonesia | Irian Jaya
Section Oceanian
Materials Wood | Plant Fiber | Pigment

Wood pole (bisj) with natural, unfinished surface; design details in red and a llittle black and white pigment. A large figure, carved in the round, is seated, with dangling legs, at the top of the pole. Projecting from the front of his body is a large flat openwork crescent element (a buttress root of the tree from which the pole is carved), at the base of which is carved a small seated figure. Remains of fiber arm and leg bands. Such poles are made for a festival celebrating the practice of headhunting.

Height 364 cm
Width 27 cm
Credit Line Purchased from Julius Carlebach, 1959

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