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

Kandangai Village, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea

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[Kandangai Village hook: 9k]

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.


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Diary entry, 1970s: Kandangai Headhunter

Copyright Carolyn Leigh, 1998. All rights reserved.

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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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]

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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