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Figure 1: 3 foot (1 meter) suspension hook with clan face, flying fox (fruit bat) and bird figures.
Kandangai carvers make big, bold hooks up to 6 feet (2 meters) high with protruding eyes set with white shell(1). The hooks are painted black. Full figures are common, usually male.
Kandangai Village sits on a large raunwara (round water), a cutoff meander of the Sepik River. The baret back into the villages of Kandangai (2) and Nyaurangei joins the Sepik across from Yenichenmangua, upriver from Korogo.
Their raunwara is rich in birdlife. Ron guided a birding tour group in the 1970s that identified over 70 different species in one day. The far end of the baret joins with the Chambri Lakes during high water.
Diary entry, 1970s: Kandangai Headhunter
Men use gourd lime containers to hold the powdered lime chewed with betel nut, plus a long stick to get the lime out of the gourd. The decorated gourd and stick tell something about a man's status.
In the 1970s, two men were still alive in Kandangai who remembered their head hunting days. One of the old warriors offered to sell his lime container to Ron. It was a plain gourd with a wooden stick hung with 6 or 8 tassels. He said each of the tassels marked a human head he took as a young man.
Ron asked him, didn't he want to keep the pieces, why did he want to sell? The man told his teenage daughter to tell Ron that he was an old man now and he would rather have money.
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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.
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Collecting New Guinea art in the field since 1964.
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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/