Lot: 29

84th Tribal Art Auction

Figure of male ancestor spirit "blaal"

Papua New Guinea - Sepik

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Patti Cadby Birch, NewYork, USA H: 16.1 inch 5000 EUR
plus 21 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, matt brown patina, pierced septum, short free carved arms, legs without feet rising from a small vaulted base, slightly dam., insect caused missing parts backside, base; according to O. Reche the ancestor figures originally were advancements or supplements of the real ancestor skulls. The idea was, that not only a natural head but a whole body should be offered as abode to the soul of the deceased. According to Reche it can be assumed, that the original form of an ancestor figure consisted of a natural human skull and a wooden trunk. But this was only a transitional stage and finally was detached by such wooden whole-figure-statuettes.