The design carved across the surface of this 'kámané' is said to represent a 'wangi' (eel), a totemic animal probably associated with the owner's clan. When a feast is held, visiting clan members can be identified by the clan totem displayed on the 'kámané' brought by the owner.
The 'kámané kipma' (fine clay) used by Kamangaui potters is sourced from an area known as Wimbo, according to Gabriel Mowe of Kamangaui village.
[entry from Exhibition Guide for 'Melanesian art: redux', 2018, cat no 12]
Place where the work was made
mid 20th century
earthenware, coiled and chip-carved, natural pigments
16.5 cm height; 32.4 cm diameter
Not on display
© Sawos people, under the endorsement of the Pacific Islands Museums Association's (PIMA) Code of Ethics
Shown in 1 exhibition
Melanesian art: redux, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 17 Nov 2018–17 Feb 2019
Referenced in 1 publication
Melanesian art, Sydney, 1966, 7. cat.no. 33; 'Bowl. Clay, unglazed, open fired. Carved linear pattern painted black and grey, 5h 12½ diameter, Kamangowi, Sepik River, (collected Tambanum). Used for cooking sago. Collected 1965'.