An image of (Spirit figure with waterlillies and sun motif)

Ap Ma people

(Papua New Guinea  – )

(Spirit figure with waterlillies and sun motif)

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

The Ap Ma 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 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 ochre 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
Ap Ma people
mid 20th century
sago spathe petiole, natural earth pigments
122.0 x 81.0 cm
Purchased 1965
Accession number
© Ap Ma people, under the endorsement of the Pacific Islands Museums Association's (PIMA) Code of Ethics