Indo-Pacific Art

Ancestor Figure (Korwar)

19th century

Wood with glass beads

36.5 x 16 x 15 cm (14 3/8 x 6 5/16 x 5 7/8 in.)
Lent by Thomas Jaffe, B.A. 1971
TR2013.15567.28

In western New Guinea, artists developed the so-called <EM>korwar</EM> style of carving, which is characterized by distinctive facial features, including deep-set eyes and an arrow-shaped nose. <EM>Korwar</EM> figures represent ancestor spirits that are highly venerated but also treated with awe and caution. While <EM>korwar</EM> are religious objects, similar facial features are also found on objects that have a daily function, such as boat prows, tool handles, and household bowls.

Geography: 
Made in Cenderawasih Bay, West Papua, Indonesia
Culture: 
Cenderawasih Bay
Classification: 
Sculpture
Status: 
On view
Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.

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