reclining male and female figures engaged in sexual intercourse; man wears headdress with two birds; body and face markings in white, brown, orange and yellow

Plaque, mid 20th century

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Wood, pigmentexpand_more

The John Cowles Family Fundexpand_more  2004.107.7

During ceremonies, the Abelam people would decorate the inside of the great korumbo, or House of the Spirits, with large painted panels and woodcarvings. The panel on display depicts an ancestral couple engaged in sexual intercourse, and represented in characteristically bright colors and rounded forms. Themes of procreation and ancestral origins are typical in spirit houses. The two hornbills at the top of the panel are connected with the spirit world and are commonly associated with ancestor figures.

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Abalam, Ancestor wall decoration (#509)
Details
Title
Plaque
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2004.107.7
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reclining male and female figures engaged in sexual intercourse; man wears headdress with two birds; body and face markings in white, brown, orange and yellow