Female figure

Height: 61 cm

Carved wood, ochre, red and black pigments, traces of lime, fibers, shells, tapa

Collection number inscribed on the base in white ink: 58.315

Presumed date of manufacture: late 19th or early 20th century

Kaamba village ?

Lower Sepik stylistic area, Eastern Sepik Province

Papua New Guinea

Provenance :

Private collection, Belgium

Renaud Vanuxem Collection, Paris

 

The impression of compactness conveyed by this large statuette is accentuated by the exaggerated size of the ovoid head, the brevity of the neck, a large torso and, above all, small legs that merge onto a circular base. The sexual characteristics and navel are particularly emphasized.

She is adorned with numerous ornaments: earrings, nose ornament, necklace, bracelets made of fibers and shells. She is still wearing her beaten bark loincloth.

 

The rarity of this statuette lies in its chest ornament, consisting of ten plates arranged side by side. We know of only one other example with similar characteristics and a similar ornament, described by Heinz Kelm.

This is a female statuette measuring 57cm collected during the Sepik Expedition of 1912/13 in the village of Kaamba on the Keram River. Both were probably made by the same sculptor.

Another feature of this large statuette is the vertical separation on a median axis of the two pigments, ochre and black.

The red ochre color (derived from ochre or Bixa orellana seeds) refers to supernatural powers and testifies to the figure’s ancestral status. The black color, obtained from coal black, is a sign of power.

According to Christian Coiffier , these two colors are probably an evocation of the two halves of the cosmos.

According to Harry Beran’s database, a Papua New Guinea mask from the Mia Van Bussel collection bears the same type of collection number (58.319), as yet unrecorded.

Get access to the latest exhibitions and galleries on OASIS

Please leave your message and details below so the Gallery may get in touch with you.

To get in touch and create your own virtual gallery, please contact us:

Or leave us a message:

Download the OASIS App

On iPhone

Scan the QR code

On Android

Scan the QR code

About the project

OASIS is the first immersive platform for the art world.

Designed specifically for collectors and art lovers, this revolutionary digital platform offers a unique experience to discover, learn, and collect artworks by exploring 3D spaces of renowned galleries.

We strive to create a dialogue between collectors and galleries of various disciplines such as design, contemporary, modern, ancient, and tribal art.

OASIS is the quintessence of the best online technologies.
An immersive experience that represents the internet of tomorrow for today’s collector.
A new world opens up to you.

Experience Art like never before.

The OASIS Team