Lot: 6

Anthropomorphic suspension hook

Papua New Guinea, Iatmul / Sawos

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Hofrat Hinderer, Stuttgart, Germany H: 21.7 inch 4000 EUR / 8000 EUR

wood, colour pigments, seashell, plant fibre, old label "gift from Hofrat Hinderer Stuttgart - probably Kaiser-Wilhelm-Land (New Guinea 1884-1918)" Most hooks are adorned with representations of ancestral spirits and totemic animals associated with the owner’s clan. Such elaborate hooks carved with anthropomorphic figures usually hung in the men's ritual houses. Here they served 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.