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Title

Amo ato (tree fern figure)

mid 20th century
collected 1964

Artist

Fore people

Papua New Guinea

Alternate image of Amo ato (tree fern figure) by Fore people
Alternate image of Amo ato (tree fern figure) by Fore people
Alternate image of Amo ato (tree fern figure) by Fore people
  • Details

    Other Title
    Figure
    Place where the work was made
    Okapa District Eastern Highlands Province Papua New Guinea
    Cultural origin
    Fore people
    Dates
    mid 20th century
    collected 1964
    Media category
    Sculpture
    Materials used
    carved tree fern, cassowary feathers (Casuarius), teeth, plant fibres, white pigment
    Dimensions
    97.0 x 21.0 x 22.0 cm (incl. headdress)
    Credit
    Purchased 1977
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    305.1977
    Copyright

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Fore people

    Works in the collection

    3

    Share
  • About

    The Fore men carve human heads into fern trees ('amo ato') to make scarecrows. They are placed in the gardens especially during the season during which new crops are planted. Some of these fern heads are also placed outside houses to trick sorcerers ('tukavu'). When they see these figures, they believe that there is someone at home and they go away.

    Alphonse Kona, University of Papua New Guinea, 2014

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    Okapa District

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

    • Tony Tuckson, Aboriginal and Melanesian art, Sydney, 1973. cat.no. H65

    • Tony Tuckson, Melanesian art, Sydney, 1966. cat.no. 244; 'Figure. Half length. Tree fern, cassowary feather head-dress, teeth, white paint, bound at bottom, 37h. Okapa, Eastern Highlands. Coll: S.G. Moriarty. M1151'

Other works by Fore people