bis pole, mangrove wood, New Guinea, Asmat

Bis Pole, 20th century

Wood, pigmentexpand_more

The Putnam Dana McMillan Fundexpand_more  74.79.1

G256expand_more

This is a ritual bis pole created to honor a recently deceased, important member of society. The family commissions an artist to carve a pole out of a single piece of wild nutmeg tree, representing clan members who have passed on. Its shape evokes a canoe, the main mode of transportation for the living and the dead, and a vehicle to take the spirit to the next world. The pole is displayed at a great community ceremony and a mock battle is staged around its base to appease any restless spirits. Then it is ritually disposed of, its purpose complete.

Explore

Audio

Bis Pole, Asmat (#203)
Details
Title
Bis Pole
Role
Artist
Accession Number
74.79.1
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

bis pole, mangrove wood, New Guinea, Asmat