Tami Headrest

Tami Islands, Huon Gulf, PNG, Melanesia. Hard wood with red, white and black pigments. 11.8 x 7.5 x 14 x 13 cm. 19/20th century.

Provenance Ex coll. : Julius Konietzko (1886/1952), Hamburg, inv. N° O22 ; Loed & Mia Van Bussel, Amsterdam ; Galerie Meyer, Paris ; Bismuth, Paris.

Literature: Published : OCEANIC HEADRESTS / APPUIE-NUQUE OCEANIENS, Galerie Meyer, Paris, 2004, fig. 37, p. 53.

A very fine headrest carved as a janus ancestor figure or kami - the spirit of all past, supporting the neck-bar on his head. The extremities of the bar are supported by two birds perched on the figure’s shoulders. His massive arms arch down to where his hands grip the foot of the headrest.