Korwar Ancestral Representation

Korwar Ancestral Representation

A korwar, or ancestral representation, showing the human figure with a stylized head over a roughly carved block set on a circular base. This type of figure, known as a block Korwar, is wrapped to exhibit only the face. The cloth represents the shroud covering the deceased in the local burial practice. The face is well carved and balanced with a strong, arched, pointed nose and flaring nostrils and a prognathic chin offering the mouth carved as two parallel lines. The eyes, under the arched brows show a typical curlicue ornament often found on sculpture of the area.

Provenance: Ex coll. : Aalderink Antiquaaires, Amsterdam; Koos Knol & Paula van den Berg, Wormerveer. The N° 18 is painted in white under the base. Private collection Czech Republic

Literature: Ill. : THE ART OF KORWAR & WORKS OF ART FROM THE PACIFIC ISLANDS – TEFAF 2010, Galerie Meyer, Paris, N° 11.

Korwar Area, Vogelkop Peninsula, Geelvink Bay, Indonesian New Guinea, Melanesia. Wood with a good patina of age and wear, blue trade cloth (possibly Indonesian). 23 cm. 19/20th century.