Male Clan Spirit Figure Surmounted by a HornbillYour model is disabled. For more details go to Edit properties3D Model
Abelam artist, Prince Alexander Mountains, Middle Sepik River, PNG, Melanesia
mid-20th century (before 1968)
Gift of William Teel. 2009.34
Purchased from Galerie Le Corneur Rondillon, Paris, April 1968
The second major institution in an Abelam man’s life is the men’s spirit cult, with an initiation process that takes 20-30 years. Large clan spirit images (nggwalndu) are used during the final ritual. Though impressive sculptures, the figures are effective in Abelam eyes because they are brightly painted. For the Abelam, as for many cultures in New Guinea, paint is a magical substance that endows its subject with supernatural power and beauty.