Northwest Coast New Guinea Food Pounder-New Guinea Art-Oceanic Art
As you go west along Papua New Guinea’s north coast from the mouth of the Sepik River, past Wewak heading toward Aitape and the West Sepik the art gets a bit funky—especially the figurative food pounders such as the present example. The refined precision of the Sepik folks slowly morphs into something more brutal and sometimes whimsical. In the food pounder here the figure has a large roughly hewn domed head with a recessed facial plane that tapers to a point at the chin that curves inward and connects to the belly. The arms start up by the ears and end with oversize hands. The back is just a narrow post that connects the head to the top of the pounder. The patina is dark chocolate in color, both glossy and remains of red pigments. The piece comes from a Dutch collection, dates to the early 20th century and is 19” (48.2 cm) in height. The price is $3800.