Lot: 46

Anthropmorphic post figure

New Caledonia, Kanak

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
H: 26.2 inch/32.1 inch (figure/with post fragment) 9000 EUR / 12000 EUR

hardwood, reddish brown patina, black pigment, flat torso and face, carved with turban-like headdress and loincloth, feet depicted in top view and turned inwards, post cut, slightly dam., cracks, traces of humidity, insect caused damage and weathering (post fragment). There are two types of Kanak figurative statues standing at the top of a post: those representing a mask carrier (carved with "pwéémwa" mask and with a cloak of feathers) and those depicting a standing male figure, as is the case here. These guardian figures commemorated ancestors and were stuck into the ground in the sacred area in front of the chiefly dwelling (see photo). The "great house" was built at the top of a broad walkway, where all the most important events of social life took place. For the most part, the statues show high-ranking members of the community wearing the emblems of their social status, such as headdresses of plaited rushes "tidi" like the present figure.

Musée du Quai Branly (ed.), Kanak, Paris 2013, ill. 48/49, p. 119 ff.