Skip to content

Collection

All

Search

Pacific art

View More:


Title

Amo ato (tree fern figure)

mid 20th century
collected 1964


Artist

Fore people

Papua New Guinea


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


Details


Other Title

Figure


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


Accession number

305.1977


Artist information

Fore people

Works in the collection

3


Place

Where the work was made
Okapa District

Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 2 publications

Bibliography


Aboriginal and Melanesian art, Sydney, 1973. cat.no. H65

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'