Lot: 36

85th Tribal Art Auction

Small suspension hook with anthropomorphic face

Papua New Guinea - Sepik

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Thomas Schulze, Berlin, Germany H: 18.5 inch 1500 EUR
plus 21 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, brown patina, remains of red and white pigment, anchor-shaped, flat end piece with drilled hole for suspension, slightly dam., minor missing parts, cracks, abrasion of paint, base; suspension hooks were used in private and ritual houses likewise, they served for everday life and ceremonial purposes. They are carved with human, respectively animal figures corresponding to the clan-specific mythology of their owner. In private houses food and other valuables were kept in bags and baskets which were suspended from the rafters of the building by means of two- or three-pronged hooks. Hooks in the men's ritual houses were used for suspension of sacrificial offerings (chicken and betel nut) which were needed for invoking the "wagen" spirits, who were responsible for the well-being of the entire village communtiy.