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Loan Object

Ancestor Figure (Korwar)

19th century


31.12 × 11.43 × 13.97 cm (12 1/4 × 4 1/2 × 5 1/2 in.)
Promised gift of Thomas Jaffe, B.A. 1971
In western New Guinea, artists developed the so-called korwar style of carving, which is characterized by distinctive facial features, including deep-set eyes and an arrow-shaped nose. Korwar figures represent ancestor spirits that are highly venerated but also treated with awe and caution. While korwar 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.
Made in Cenderawasih Bay, West Papua, Indonesia
Not on view
Cenderawasih Bay
19th century
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.