Papua New Guinea Story Poles
Eight nineteenth and twentieth century men’s house posts from the Middle Sepik River Region of Papua New Guinea are on display on The Muck grounds. These pieces of history are generously on long term loan from the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. A display much too large indoors, ranging from ten to fifteen feet, these poles can be seen on the lawn near the main parking area. The natural beauty of the estate is a fitting location for these poles that are heavulty inspired by the natural world. Upon closer inspection, a viewer can see detailed animal and nature carvings.
The poles were created by Latmul craftsman who lived near the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea. The poles were both ornamental and pracitcal. They were used to support the ceremonial Latmul men’s homes. These homes were a center for men to discuss important community matters, socialize , and initiate young boys and men into the various phases of life. When the poles would begin to deteriorate they were retired and left on the outskirts of the village to return to nature. The poles that we have featured for public viewing were among those that could have been retired in this way, but instead they were preserved for their cultural significance.
The poles feature natural elements that would have been observed by the Latmul people living near the Sepik River. This includes crocodiles, fish, flowers, and birds among others. One of the most featured animals seen in these poles is the crocdile
Medium type: Wood
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