This is an Old Bahinemo Garra Cult Hook Figure from the people of the Hunstein Mountains, Middle Sepik, Papua New Guinea. These beautifully abstract painted one of a kind slender profile image is connected with water spirits, their curving hooks sometimes identified as catfish whiskers. The men’s ceremonial house, in which initiation and other rites took place, these sacred objects, collectively called gra or garra, were kept. The Bahinemo hook images served as hunting helpers, with their supernatural powers assisting in the capture of game. They also played a role in male initiation ceremonies, in which they were carried by initiated men during dances. During these initiation ceremonies, the initiates held these figures between their legs and danced as a manifestation of a water spirit by keeping it immersed in swamps or other watery places. These spirits and what they represent were very important in their hunting and became necessary helpers. They are part of the Sepik hook-shaped figure tradition that exists along the different regions of the Sepik River. This is museum quality. They are rare and elegant and would be marvelous addition to your home or collection.
LATE 20TH CENTURY
COMES ON STAND
Shows age, paint discoloration, but is in good condition. Rare and hard to find.
1 1/2" deep
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