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Title

Decorated male figure

mid 20th century
collected 1964

Artist

Usarufa people

Papua New Guinea

Alternate image of Decorated male figure by Usarufa people
Alternate image of Decorated male figure by Usarufa people
Alternate image of Decorated male figure by Usarufa people
Alternate image of Decorated male figure by Usarufa people
  • Details

    Other Titles
    Male figure (witch doctor)
    Male figure to guard men's house
    Place where the work was made
    Kagu village Okapa District Eastern Highlands Province Papua New Guinea
    Cultural origin
    Usarufa people
    Dates
    mid 20th century
    collected 1964
    Media category
    Sculpture
    Materials used
    wood, split rattan, sedge grass, seeds, marsupial tails and fur, pig tusks, cowrie shells (Cypraeidae), yellow orchid stem fibre (Dendrobium), plant fibre string, feathers, natural pigments
    Dimensions
    157.5 cm height (figure) :

    a - figure, 157.5 cm, height

    b - grass lap lap, 44 cm, height

    c - 2 possum fur headdress attachments, 43 cm, length of longest attachment

    d - lap lap, 40 cm, overall

    e - mother of pearl necklace, 47 cm, length

    f - penis girdle, 40 cm, height

    g - main headdress, 25 cm, 25.0 overall; wood piece 8.0 height

    h - waist belt, 18 cm, width

    i - waist belt, 20 cm, width

    Credit
    Purchased 1977
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    300.1977.a-i
    Copyright
    © Fore people, under the endorsement of the Pacific Islands Museums Association's (PIMA) Code of Ethics

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Usarufa people

    Works in the collection

    1

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  • About

    Constructed from an astounding array of natural materials, this figure is dressed in the everyday attire of a village man, including a woven belt with wooden 'bat-winged' codpiece, cowrie-shell waistband, woven armbands, nose peg and feathered headbands.

    Stan Moriarty described these figures as 'decoy figures', noting their placement inside men's houses and in gardens, with the aim to confound enemy assailants.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

    • Melanesian Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 20 Apr 1966–22 May 1966

    • Melanesian art: redux, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 17 Nov 2018–17 Feb 2019

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications