We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

Title

Painting from ceremonial house ('deman' spirit with two birds and lizard)

mid 20th century
collected 1965

Artist

Ap Ma people

Papua New Guinea

Alternate image of Painting from ceremonial house ('deman' spirit with two birds and lizard) by Ap Ma people
Alternate image of Painting from ceremonial house ('deman' spirit with two birds and lizard) by Ap Ma people
Alternate image of Painting from ceremonial house ('deman' spirit with two birds and lizard) by Ap Ma people
  • Details

    Other Titles
    Bark painting, human figure with a bird's head and two other birds; lizard to one side
    Figure, bird headed and surmounted by birds
    Place where the work was made
    Kambot Village Keram River Lower Sepik River East Sepik Province Papua New Guinea
    Cultural origin
    Ap Ma people
    Dates
    mid 20th century
    collected 1965
    Media category
    Painting
    Materials used
    sago palm petioles, bamboo, natural pigments
    Dimensions
    162.0 x 67.0 cm
    Credit
    Purchased 1965
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    373.1994
    Copyright

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Ap Ma people

    Works in the collection

    4

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  • About

    Kambot village lies on the Keram River, a tributary of the lower Sepik. Kambot was first visited by Europeans during a German-led 1912–13 Sepik expedition and its spectacular ceremonial houses featured in the American film 'Jungle islands', shot during the 1928–29 expedition led by Cornelius Vanderbilt Crane for the Field Museum in Chicago. Set high on pilings above the flood plains, the houses' immense overhanging gables – said to resemble the open jaws of a crocodile – were adorned with paintings of spirits from the Kambot pantheon, including the paramount ancestor Mopul.

    Made from the flattened lower leaf stalks of the sago palm, painted panels – 'panggal' in Pidgin – are sewn together and carefully prepared with a black undercoat. Artists then draw lines with white clay pigment and forms are filled with yellow and orange ochres.

    [entry from Exhibition Guide for 'Melanesian art: redux', 2018, cat no 18]

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

Other works by Ap Ma people

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