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Karawari River and Blackwater River Map > Mumeri Village

Art-Pacific (Carolyn Leigh - Ron Perry): Guide to Sepik River Carvings

Mumeri Village, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea

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[Basket gable mask: 18k]

The Mumeri people originally came from Kamindimbit Village on the Sepik. During WWII, the elders worried that bombing raids might wipe out their whole village, so some of the people moved up the Korosameri River to its junction with the Blackwater River for safety.

Basketry birds and large woven gable masks like this one are very representative of the traditional fiber work of the Mumeri woman. The men's Haus Tambaran is divided between two clans. They carve clan and ancestor figures and also make beautiful flutes.

[Sacred flutes: 5k]

Sacred flutes are played, usually in pairs, during ceremonies and initiations in the Sepik villages. They are considered to be the voices of the clans' ancestor spirits. Traditionally, village women, children and uninitiated men are not allowed to see the flutes being played.

The flutes are constructed of lengths of bamboo or cane. Their elaborately carved wooden stoppers depict human, animal or bird totems. The figures are bilased with feathers, shell, seeds and clay-based paints. The long flutes have a low, melodic tone which resonates into the damp, tropical air. When two experienced men play a pair of the shorter flutes, their lively duet bounces back and forth like jazz.

[Map of the Blackwater River, ESP, PNG: 8k]

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back to Guide to Sepik River Carvings

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Browse Sepik River villages - Middle Sepik: Aibom | Chambri Lakes | Kamindimbit | Kandangai | Kanganaman | Koiwat and Kamangauwi | Korogo | Mindimbit | Mumeri | Palambei | Tambanum | Yamok | Yentchan | Yenichenmangua | see also Karawari and Blackwater Rvs | above Pagwi: Ambunti Mtns (Waskuk) | Hunstein | Japandai | near Angoram and below: Angoram | Imbando and Taway | Kambaramba | see also Ramu Rv

[Map of the middle length of the Sepik River, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea: 9k]

More articles/photos of NEW GUINEA MASKS:

Middle Sepik River | Angoram | Kambaramba | Tambanum | Hunstein | Imbando and Taway | Mumeri | Blackwater River | Lower Ramu River | Middle Ramu River | basket yam masks | wooden yam masks | Baining | Sulka | Tolai dukduk | Malagan | Papuan Gulf | Gogodala | String and Things | Skin as Ground... | more INDONESIAN MASKS: Bali and Java | Dyak

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Browse OCEANIC ART:

Melanesian art TOC | Map of art areas of Melanesia
Papua New Guinea: Highlands: body art - Bundi tapa - jewelry/dancers | Karawari and Blackwater Rivers: masks - carvings - map | Massim: artifacts- Trobriand Kula - map | Kula canoe | New Britain: Baining - Sulka - Tolai dukduk | New Ireland: Malagan | Ramu River: masks - carvings - map | Sepik River: masks - carvings - villages - map | Papuan Gulf: masks - carvings - map - Gogodala - Kukukuku
other areas: Asmat | Solomon Islands: crafts - jewelry - map
art and craft:
barkcloth (tapa) | body art | cane and fiber figures | canoes and prows | jewelry/dancers | masks - Middle Sepik | phallocrypts | pottery - Chambri | shields | story boards | suspension hooks | weapons | yam masks - fiber | yam masks - wood

INDONESIAN ART:
Indonesian art TOC | Dyak baby carriers and masks | furniture | Java folk art | Lombok baskets | Lombok lontar boxes | masks from Bali and Java | puppets

CHINA - BAI TEXTILES:
China-Bai textiles TOC | baby carriers | baby hats | woodblock prints

Collecting New Guinea art in the field since 1964.

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Photographs, text and maps copyright © Carolyn Leigh, 1996-2011. All rights reserved.
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Artifacts on this site are collected in the field by my husband, Ron Perry. I take the photographs, do the html, text and maps. More background in Who We Are. Art-Pacific has been on the WWW since 1996. We hope you enjoy our New Guinea tribal art and Indonesian folk art as much as we do. Carolyn Leigh, P.O. Box 85284, Tucson, AZ 85754-5284 USA, Art-Pacific at http://www.art-pacific.com/