By appointment only Atlanta, GA 30327 United States 305.400.0561
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$ 5,000

Bis Pole of Asmat People

Origin United States
Period 1950-1979
Materials Wood, beads, feathers
W. 8 in; H. 42 in; D. 24 in;
W. 20.32 cm; H. 106.68 cm; D. 60.96 cm;
Condition Fair. Tribal art collected in field, wood cracks, minor chips and surface accumulations, black hair/fibers on one earring loss, areas of paint loss. See detail photos.
Creation Date first half of 20th century
Description A ritual artifact from the tribe of the Asmat poeple, an ethnic group of New Guinea living in the Papua province of Indonesia and South-western regions of Papua New Guinea, bis or bisj pole is carved out of a wild Mangrove tree and can reach a stunning height Their carvings depict stacked human and animal figures standing and on top always phallic symbols, in the shape of a canoe prow. Bis poles can be erected as an act of revenge, to pay homage to the ancestors, to calm the spirits of the deceased and to bring harmony and spiritual strength to the community.
On offer here is a bis pole sculpture, which may have been the top part of a much taller pole, it features an ancestor figure with a bird and a phallic wing like protrusion with a looped 8 pattern. Details such as, surface paint, scarification marks and ears suspending beaded cassowary feather render this piece a strong aesthetic presence.
It was reputably collected in the Papua province of Indonesia in 1973. There is an old ink collection number on the back as shown. Displayed on a custom made metal stand.
Styles / Movements Oceanic, Outsider Art, Traditional
Incollect Reference Number 283558
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