Yam Festival Head

Wosera people
Middle Sepik River
Papua New Guinea
early 20th century

This head was attached to a

yam during the harvest festival. The carved head was believed to transform the yam into a manifestation of ancestral spirits. The head is carved from a light wood, painted with natural pigments. The back of the head is flat and is perforated along the edge. Rattan is attached through these small holes, creating a woven plaque that the festival head is mounted into. The head has a wooden stick that goes through it from top to bottom. This stick was then inserted into the yam during the harvest festival.

Height 12 inches
Height on custom stand: 14 inches