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Female Ancestral Figure

female figure
Female Ancestral Figure
Papua New Guinea, East Sepik Province, Keram River area, Kambot village
Kambot people
Wood and paint
(65.252)
Gift of Mr. Morton D. May

The Keram River is a major tributary of the Sepik River, and this sculpture was made by people from this area. Small female figures were often made in memory of important females in the village. The shape of the eye relates to the common belief that certain ancestors had the ability to transform into a bird - specifically a cockatoo. The figures were kept in the men's house and carried during major ceremonies such as harvest festivals or the opening of a new men's house.

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