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X65.5296 Ceremonial house board


Object Name: Ceremonial house board

Place of Origin: Papuan Gulf, Papua New Guinea

Date/Era: 19th-20th century

Medium/Materials: Wood, pigment

Credit Line: Gift of the Wellcome Trust

Accession Number: X65.5296

Carved and painted boards of this type were kept in men’s ceremonial houses in villages along the shores of the Papuan Gulf. They were passed from generation to generation within a clan. Each board was named for a legendary clan hero, who was also the subject of a long epic describing the origin of the clan. The epics were recited orally but never written, so the boards played a key role in stimulating memory and the retelling of the epic. The boards were also thought to embody the legendary heroes extraordinary powers, which could be called upon for aid in hunting and warfare.

Source: Gallery text, Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives, 2006

SKU: X65.5296 Category:

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