An image of Amo ato (tree fern head)

Unknown Artist

Amo ato (tree fern head)

Location
Not on display
Further information

The Fore men carve human heads into fern trees ('amo ato') to make scarecrows. They are placed in the gardens especially during the season during which new crops are planted. Some of these fern heads are also placed outside houses to trick sorcerers ('tukavu'). When they see these figures, they believe that there is someone at home and they go away.

Alphonse Kona, University of Papua New Guinea, 2014

Place of origin
Okapa (Moke), Okapa District, Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea
Cultural origin
Fore people
Year
mid 20th century
collected 1964
Media
Ceremonial object, Mixed media
Medium
tree fern, shells, remains of bird feathers, 2 pig tusks, 9 mammalian teeth, white and pale red natural pigments, plant fibre string
Dimensions
36.5 x 17.0 x 21.5 cm :
0 - Whole; 36.5 cm; height including feather headband
0 - Whole; 17 cm
0 - Whole; 21.5 cm
Credit
Purchased 1977
Accession number
290.1977
Copyright
© Fore people, under the endorsement of the Pacific Islands Museums Association's (PIMA) Code of Ethics