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Bruce Frank Primitive Art
New York City, NY
+1 917 733 9589

Marupai

Elema, Papuan Gulf, Papua New Guinea
19th-early 20th c

Provenance:
Collected in the 1960’s by Thomas Shultze Westrum, Germany, (inv. G422)
Marcia and John Friede collection

Carved from a species of dwarf coconut this charm takes the form of multiple imagery.  Vertically the image is of a human face surrounded be geometrical designs.  Viewed horizontally the amulet transforms into a pig. The designs have been carved in relief and then filled with lime powder to enhance its impact.  This amulet was used to make magic as well as to protect against evil spirits.  It was most often worn on strings tucked into the person’s armpit or suspended from the neck or even the nose.  Often, they were used as added adornments to Gope ancestral boards.

Marupai

Elema, Papuan Gulf,
Papua New Guinea
19th-early 20th c

Provenance:
Collected in the 1960’s by Thomas Shultze Westrum, Germany, (inv. G422)
Marcia and John Friede collection

Carved from a species of dwarf coconut this charm takes the form of multiple imagery.  Vertically the image is of a human face surrounded be geometrical designs.  Viewed horizontally the amulet transforms into a pig. The designs have been carved in relief and then filled with lime powder to enhance its impact.  This amulet was used to make magic as well as to protect against evil spirits.  It was most often worn on strings tucked into the person’s armpit or suspended from the neck or even the nose.  Often, they were used as added adornments to Gope ancestral boards.

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