Sawos people

(Papua New Guinea  – )

Kámané (serving bowl)

Not on display
Further information

Sawos villages are known for their conical-shaped pottery bowls, used for serving food. Pots and sago are traded from inland villages to Timbunke and Tambanum on the Sepik River, in exchange for fish, requiring hours of walking in either direction.

Clay is dug solely by women who also make the initial form using a coiling technique. Men then decorate the pots with a prodigious variety of designs, each depicting specific totems of the clans they represent.

For further information see: Helen Dennett and Paul Dennett, 'Mak bilong Sepik: a selection of designs and paintings from the Sepik River', Wirui Press, Wewak, 1975; and Margaret Tuckson and Patricia May, 'The traditional pottery of Papua New Guinea', Bay Books, Sydney, 1982.

Place of origin
East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea
Cultural origin
Sawos people
mid 20th century
earthenware, natural earth pigments
13.0 cm height; 31.0 cm diam
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Gift of Todd Barlin 2020. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number