Malagan Pole (eikwar si mi walik)
On View In:
Gallery 256
Artist:   Unknown  
Title:   Malagan Pole (eikwar si mi walik)  
Date:   c. 1910  
Medium:   Wood, pigment  
Dimensions:   101 x 10 x 6 1/4 in. (256.54 x 25.4 x 15.88 cm)  
Credit Line:   Gift of funds from the Morse Foundation  
Location:   Gallery 256  

In New Ireland, elaborate ceremonies called malagan commemorate the death of important members of society. Music, dance, the exchange of gifts, and the display of specially commissioned sculptures honor the deceased and enhance the prestige of surviving relatives. The sculpted images usually incorporate animals that are the clan symbols of the deceased. The female figure on this pole stands on a pig's head, an animal that plays a prominent role in ceremonial offerings. The circular design in the center, know as mataling, or "eye of fire," refers to the sun. It is flanked by two frigate birds, symbols of strength and important totemic animals in New Ireland culture.

Name:   Unknown  

Object Description  
Classification:   Sculpture  
Physical Description:   Mallangan, wood and pigments  
Creation Place:   Oceania, Papua New Guinea, , New Ireland,  
Accession #:   68.9.3  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts