Sepik overmodeled skull
Papua New Guinea, Middle Sepik River. late 19th–early 20th century. Human skull, clay, paint, human hair.
The Iatmul people of Papua New Guinea kept the skulls of their ancestors which once overmodeled with clay and then painted with designs, became familiar spirits and protectors of the community. They were used in funerary and fertility ceremonies where they were displayed atop of poles. The skull of the dead ancestor was decorated to imitate the facial painting of the deceased. Skulls of headhunting victims were similarly decorated and kept as trophies.
The 3D model was built using a set of VRT images (Volume Rendering Technique) after post-processing 900 CT-scan axial slices (Somatom + InSpace): see here the comparison of two overmodeled skulls.