Lot: 30

Anthropo- / zoomorphic figure

Papua New Guinea - Gulf, Urama Island, Iwaino

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Bonhams, London, 9 December 2004, Lot 191
Mallams Auctioneers Abingdon, 2015
Desmond Morris (*1928), Great Britain
Mallams Auctioneers Oxford, 2019
Morris is an English zoologist, ethologist and surrealist painter, as well as a popular author in human sociobiology. He is known for his 1967 book "The Naked Ape", and for his television programmes such as "Zoo Time".
H: 29.1 inch;
L: 24.4 inch
2000 EUR / 4000 EUR

wood, pigments,
In this object, the natural growth form of a branch or tree root was translated into a figure.

It is probably related to the "imunu" concept, which is widespread throughout the Gulf area.

Strange or unusual things possess "imunu" to a greater degree than ordinary things. The meaning of "imunu" is elusive, it is roughly synonymous for vital strength or vital principle.


Newton, Douglas, Art Styles of the Papuan Gulf, New York 1961, p. 63, ill. 142 Hamson, Michael, Red Eye of the Sun, Los Angeles 2010, p. 74