Sepik: Arts of Papua New Guinea

January 13, 2016By Heidi EllisonArchive


Top: Facade frieze with decorated skull. Bottom: Female figure with spread legs. © Linden-Museum Stuttgart, photos Ursula Didoni.

Only two weeks left to see a spectacular exhibition at the Musée du Quai Branly: “Sepik: Arts of Papua New Guinea” (through Jan. 31). The surprising and fascinating objects are beautifully displayed and arranged according to the way they were used by the inhabitants of the valley of the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea, whether used by men or women, or for everyday activities or major rituals. With 230 objects from the museum’s own collection and 18 other museums, it offers a comprehensive look at this society where anything and everything was sculpted, engraved or painted with animal or human figures or abstract patterns. It is easy to see why the Surrealists were inspired by the skill, creativity and imaginary world of the makers of these crocodile-shaped dugouts, sculpted household and ceremonial hooks, masks, decorated human skulls (of enemies or revered ancestors) and much more. Try not to miss this exciting exhibition.


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