Palembei Iatmul Sepik Carved Totem Sculpture Female Pygmy Statue Rare Art 31A14

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Beautiful South Pacific art from remote region of the Sepik River PNG

Rare totem, a unique slim elegant statue of a female

A hand carved detailed sculpture from the Sepik region of Papua New Guinea with mystical symbolic meaning and seen on all the pictures.

Collected in the field along the Sepik River in PNG, in Palembei village.


Tall very detailed piece

Measures: 40" tall x 8" x 7" wide




 ITEM 31A14 in our inventory

(Seen on all the pictures except the 2 taken in our home showing how majestic this art can be, seen on display, and the photo of a young boy made up like the statue for a celebration)


This figure was kept in the men’s spirit house (called Haus Tambaran or Gaigo). It works as a magical shield together with other figures in the Gaigo, generally protecting from bad magic worked against the village by marauding demons (Maselei) or magic generated by enemy sorcerers (Sanguma).


The story from where some of these characters are drawn often refers to secret tales only known by the tribal elders. The figure was hand carved out of wood. All eyes of woman and animals are Nassa shells incrusted into the hand carving. Colors are natural pigments obtained from nature such as white lime from shells, charcoal etc....


In Palembei village, on the middle Sepik river, Papua New Guinea, outstanding master carvers, whose work appear in Art Exhibitions around the world, created beautiful slim polychrome statues inspired by their spiritual beliefs and traditional tales. While firmly based in tradition, these contemporary works abound with both innovation and individual expression. Among the finest traditional art forms of the Sepik region are the fine varied sculptures kept in the men's ceremonial house.


Such figures are imbibed with the magic to protect the village from bad magic worked against it by enemy sorcerers (Samguma).


All our Tribal Sepik river carvings, from Papua New Guinea, were collected on the premises.


Carvings are always well made, in spite of the relatively crude implements including stone adzes and drills and the shark skin rasps and polishes which are used to produce works of carved delicate grace.


All our collector and rare items come with pages and pages of research about provenance, and with history of the tribes and photos as well, depending on item and whenever possible. When shipping internationally, we group ship multiple purchases to save you money, and find the best rates available. If you have any questions or want to see research conducted on this piece and photos of tribes, let us know


We have artifacts and architectural accents up to 10 ft tall that we will put on upon request because shipping has to be calculated.