Unknown Artist

Kandimbong (ancestor figure)

Not on display
Further information

'Kandimbong' represent clan ancestors and culture heroes. The figures are usually between 90 and 120 cm in height and are often adorned with wigs of human hair and woven armbands and legbands. The figure's chest is carved with incised designs which imitate scarification marks given to men who have been initiated.

The 'Kandimbong' is first carved for an important clan member and is used for the initiation of his sons or his brother's sons. During the initiation period, the figure is removed from the 'haus tambaran' (men's ceremonial house) where it is usually kept, and taken to the bush with the young men.

This figure was bought from the sale of Lady Glover's collection held in Sydney in 1970, ("New Guinea and Aboriginal Objects", lot no. 279). The collection, formed originally by Charles R Glover, was not added to after 1920.

Place of origin
Murik Lakes, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea
early 20th century
collected pre 1920
wood, red and white natural earth pigments, charcoal, natural fibre tassels
122.5 x 17.0 x 19.0 cm
Purchased 1970
Accession number