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Funerary Figure (Kulap)

Date:
late 19th century
Geography:
Papua New Guinea, New Ireland
Culture:
Southern New Ireland
Medium:
Chalk, paint
Dimensions:
H. 19 1/4 in. (48.9 cm)
Classification:
Stone-Sculpture
Credit Line:
Gift of Evelyn A. J. Hall, 1981
Accession Number:
1981.331.5
  • Description

    In the southern part of New Ireland, a large island north of New Guinea, artists created chalk figures portraying both male and female subjects. Housed in small shrines constructed in the forest outside the village, the figures played a central role in a cult of the dead. Variable in their individual styles and attributes, it is possible that the figures were intended to portray specific individual ancestors whose supernatural powers could be harnessed to benefit their living descendants.

  • Provenance

    Governor Rudolph von Benningsen, Neu-Pommern, representative of the German Reich, until 1890s; Linden-Museum, Stuttgart, Germany; [Matthias Komor, New York]; Evelyn A. J. Hall, New York, until 1981

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
314370

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