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Hook Figure

Hook Figure

c. 1920-1930

Painted wood and cowrie shell

Overall: 207 x 6.4 cm (81 1/2 x 2 1/2 in.)

Gift of Edgar A. Hahn 1963.553

Location

Description

To the Arambak People, this abstract human figure represents the spirit of war and hunting. Stored in the men's ceremonial houses, such sculptures could not be viewed by women or children. Before hunting or headhunting expeditions, such figures were rubbed with special substances to induce possession by the spirit. The hook arching above the stylized face represents a feather. In the middle of the body is the heart, framed by crescent-shaped ribs. Below is the figure's calf.

See also
Collection: 
Oceanic Art
Department: 
Oceania
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture
Credit line: 
Gift of Edgar A. Hahn

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