Wooden Betel Mortar
Bukie,( near the Maprik), Papua New Guinea, 19th-early 20th c.
PROVENANCE: Private French Collection

The double figured motif is common in betel mortars of the Bukie in Papua New Guinea. The mortar is particularly interesting due to its remarkable asymmetrical balance between the two ancestral figures, rendering them almost indistinguishable form one another. The figures are stocky, with arms cut away from the torso, while the faces exhibit long noses, oval heads, and straight cut eyebrows. The mortar exhibits a nice circular movement, similar to the motion needed for crushing betel. There are extensive signs of repeated use and wear inside the bowl, where the betel was crushed. Original yellow, red, and white pigments are still visible across the exterior.

Height: 6.75 in. high.
IN 9-11-13 / SOLD