Lot: 15

87th Tribal Art Auction

Replacement skull "kus"

Papua New Guinea, Asmat

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
H: 7.9 inch This object is not available anymore.

wood, matt patina, dominated by a big mouth with blackened teeth, min. dam., cracks, slight traces of abrasion, base. When a trophy skull was lost or destroyed, a wooden head called "kus" was carved to replace it. In later years after head-hunting was banned by the authorities, wooden heads were used at initiation ceremonies in place of real and "freshly hunted" ones.

Konrad, Gunter & Ursula, u.a., Asmat, Glashütten 1981, p. 104