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Art-Pacific (Carolyn Leigh - Ron Perry): Guide to Artifacts

Lower Sepik River Carvings, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea

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[Angoram area saw fish cream, red and black mask with a long, double-toothed extension: 32k]

[Wood betel nut mortor with four Lower Sepik River faces: 31k]

The Lower Sepik area begins between Tambanum and Angoram villages and continues out to the Bismarck Sea. The lower tributary rivers include the Yuat, the Keram and the Pora Pora. Their villages have distinct styles. Angoram and other lower Sepik villages, the coastal villages, the Murik Lakes and the off-shore islands share variations on a common style.

Lower Sepik carvings are usually male. Figures are slightly stooped. Faces are oval with beaked noses and diagonal eyes. Carvers highlight incised geometric detail with white lime which stands out on the simple, dark backgrounds. Contemporary carvers often add more color and more detail.

[Elegant Lower Sepik mask with typical slant eyes and elongated nose: 27k]

[Yuat River Biwat Shield: 33k]

Bowls, mortars and utilitarian objects are carved for local use and also for trade. Trade and coastal migrations gave Lower Sepik and coastal villages more access to different ideas and this is often reflected in their art.

Figure 1: Contemporary Lower Sepik saw fish mask.

Figure 2: Lower Sepik betel nut mortar with four male faces and incised detail.

Figure 3: Lower Sepik mask with typical slanted eyes and elongated nose.

Figure 4: Biwat shield from the Yuat River.

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back to Guide to Sepik River Carvings

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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Order now: Art Dealer in the Last Unknown, Ron Perry and New Guinea Art, the early years: 1964 - 1973 by Carolyn Leigh and Ron Perry, 320 pages of adventure, over 450 early photographs - join Ron in the jungles of New Guinea on his search for tribal 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 TOC | Dyak baby carriers and masks | furniture | Java folk art | Lombok baskets | Lombok lontar boxes | masks from Bali and Java | puppets

China: Bai textiles/art TOC | baby carriers | baby hats | woodblock prints

Collecting New Guinea art in the field since 1964.

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Artifacts on this site were collected in the field by my husband, Ron Perry. I take the photographs, do the html, text and maps. 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. by Carolyn Leigh is licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-ND 4.0