Pre-contact Murik Lakes Kandimbwag Figure-New Guinea Art-Oceanic Art
We are fortunate that Louis Pierre Ledoux mentioned these small spirit figures, kandimbwag, a number of times in his unpublished manuscript of his 1936 research among the people living within the Murik Lakes region at the mouth of the Sepik River on New Guinea’s north coast. These figures were used in male initiation and also noted that “Blood let from the penis is also put on the Kandimbwag (love charm figurine) to make women like you, but this may not be scraped into her food or tobacco, etc. nor may blood be put in her food lest she die” (Ch. 4, p. 93). This particular figure is a rare pre-contact, stone-carved example with a dry, smooth patina. It dates to the 19th century, stands 7 ¼” (18.3 cm) in height and is published in my most recent Parcours des Mondes catalog Three Collections of Oceanic Art, no. 22, pages 64/65. It sells for $5000.