Yipwon Spirit Figure

mid 1800s


Object Info

Object: figure; spirit
Not currently on view
Object ID: 2001.157


cowrie shells and pigment on wood


Gift of Joan and George Anderman

More Info


height: 94.875 in, 240.9825 cm; width: 11.5 in, 29.2100 cm; depth: 7 in, 17.7800 cm


Native Arts


Native Arts-Oceanic


"1985.056" on proper left side of foot

Extended Info

The tall, carved figure is from the Korewori River region of New Guinea. The artist has simplified the human figure into a series of projecting, hooklike shapes. The head features a beard terminating in a sharp point. Above the head, a cap with a comblike tassel curves forward to protect the entire sculptural framework. In the torso area, semicircular shapes carved in concentric patterns surround and protect a jagged phallic projection. The figure, carved from a single piece of wood, is probably an abstract representation of a hunting spirit.

Exhibition History

  • "Giants of Melanesia: Monumental Art from the South Pacific"—Denver Art Museum, 3/3/2001 - 9/30/2001