PAPUAN GULF SURREALISTIC "IMUNU" SPIRIT FIGURE W/ TWO FACES
Period/Date: Likely 1930's
Materials: hardwood root structure (Mangrove?), natural earth pigments
Description: This old zoomorphic female figure has arms and legs outstretched and is bent slightly forward. The expressive face is deeply-carved with pierced nasal septum. What's unusual and exciting is that you have the bones in the neck merging into a mask-like secondary ancestor in the chest! The wood is quite old and has a varied dry surface. It has layered lime and ocher pigments and is well-used having been employed at various initiation ceremonies. It has a strong, cheerful yet alluring presence in person. Presented on a custom metal stand. Excellent condition with no breaks or mends.
Douglas Newton tells us that in their cosmology "Imunu" was the spiritual essence that animated all things. The people of the Papuan Gulf admired individuality in all natural things. Thus the Papuan's believed in a "vital strength" or "vital principal" existed in each form. It is "imunu" that allows a Pig to be a Pig, and an Orchid to be an Orchid and so on. Thus, this spirit figure is a physical embodiment of that creative animating force.
Dimensions: Height: 29.5" (75 cm), Width 16" (40.5 cm)