Suspension hook - ROM2004_947_10


Suspension hook

Maker: Iatmul
Medium:Carved and painted wood, raffia fibre
Geography: Melanesia, Tambanum, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea
Date: 1950-1960
14.6 × 115.6 cm
Object number: 969.330.198
Not on view
DescriptionThis wooden hook was carved in Tambanum Village in the Middle Sepik River Region. One of the biggest villages in the area, Tambanum is home to a large group of experienced carvers. These objects serve both practical and ceremonial purposes. In private houses, the hooks are used to hang food in “bilums” (string bags) to keep it safe from moisture, vermin, rats, dogs and children. These hooks are also hung in men’s ceremonial houses to hold ritual items, or, in olden days, skulls of slain enemies. These hooks are also specially made for the dedication ceremonies of new Men’s Houses, and were used by shamans to contact ancestors. Additional Reading: 1. Stewart, Gloria. 1985. Introduction to Sepik Art of New Guinea. Sydney: Book Wise (Australia) Proprietary Ltd. 2. Greub, Susanne. 1985. Art of the Sepik River: Authority and Ornament, Papua New Guinea. Basel: Tribal Art Centre: Edition Greub.
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