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House post
House post
ca. 17th–19th century
de Young
Gallery 30
Wood, Pigment
240 x 45 x 39 cm (94 1/2 x 17 11/16 x 15 3/8 in.)
Object Type:
Sawos People

Jolika Collection of New Guinea Art

Accession Number:
Acquisition Date:
Credit Line:

Gift of Marcia and John Friede in honor of Diane B. Wilsey and Harry S. Parker III

Exhibition History:

2005 - New Guinea Art. Masterpieces from the Jolika Collection of Marcia and John Friede. De Young Museum, San Francisco, 2005.

1985-88 - Tribal Art Centre, Basel, 1985-88, "Authority and Ornament," New York venue only. IBM Gallery (NEED TO CONFIRM).

1979 - National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1979, "The Art of the Pacific Islands."

Originally over twice their current height; supported either the horizontal roof beam or the beams supporting the raised floor of the sacred upper story inside the building. Carved from one piece/trunk of wood in the form of a figure from waist upwards with tall headdress with traces of white and red pigment. The head has dominating nose and protruding eyes, a classical way of rendering the waken aspect of ancestors in Sawos art. Scarification motifs are represented with incised lines around the figure's navel and nipples. Above the head we see a fish (probably a catfish or kami) and a concentric motif, probably representing a water lily on both sides.

Contemporaneous Works “Art from the same century and country”

Male figure with complex body decoration
Male figure with complex body decoration (C-14 dating: 1640–1880 (94.3% probability))
Female figure
Female figure (C-14 dating: 1640–1820 (94.2% probability))
Female figure
Female figure (C-14 dating: 1640–1880 (95.4% probability))
Ancestral spirit board, hohao
Ancestral spirit board, hohao (C-14 dating: 1640–1880 (95.4% probability))