An image of Spathe painting

Unknown Artist

Spathe painting

Other titles:
Bark painting (single large central figure)
Not on display
Further information

The Kambot people occupy 16 villages along the banks of the Keram River, a tributary of the lower Sepik River in Papua New Guinea.

Spathe paintings are displayed in the gable ends of a Haus Tambaran, or men's house. The panels, called 'pangals', are made from flattened pieces cut from the thick sheath end of the sago palm leaf. Traditional pigments are clays, charcoal and powdered lime from shells.

This is a classical painting from Wom village, with the artist's use of yellow for motifs around the figure: floral designs depict the water lilies on the river and the circular motif the sun.

Place of origin
Wom Village, Keram River, Lower Sepik River, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea
Cultural origin
Kambot people
mid 20th century
sago spathe petiole, natural earth pigments
122.0 x 81.0 cm
Purchased 1965
Accession number