Yam Decoration MI Baba
Wosera, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea
19th Century

This diminutive yet extremely ambitious carving is remarkably similar to Plate 299 in New Guinea Art - Masterpieces from the Jolika Collection. Its style characteristics are very similar to wooden Yam masks usually made in soft wood; but this example along with Plate 299 is hardwood; has an elongated face, its piercing on the lower rim and is completely hollowed out. The carver of this example went one step further and created a miniature surrealist work; by sculpting 3 heads into the one all with pierced septum’s and woven nose decorations except for the smallest head on the back. The cowry shells on the main face are original and deeply inset with resin; while the overall surface is encrusted from generations of use.
This head is 4” long

SOLD / 7-5-11