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

Mindimbit Village, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea

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[Male clan figure: 13k]

Figure 1: Typical Mindimbit ancestor figure.

Mindimbit figures and masks are notable for the use of finely detailed chip carving accentuated with red clay and white lime paint. The designs are similar to the ones painted on participants in initiations and other ceremonies.

Mindimbit is a big, well-kept village on the Middle Sepik, near the junction with the Korosameri River. Upper Mindimbit Village is Seventh-Day Adventist. Lower Mindimbit Village is not. There is some movement of people between the two halves. Both groups carve statues along with a few masks. The larger, upper village does the majority of the carving.

[Orator's chair: 16k]

Figure 2: Orator's stool with a pig tusk nose piece, shell eyes and handmade bilum string for his beard and laplap.

The larger than life-size orator's "chairs" are the central figures in the Haus Tambaran. No human being sits on these stools, only the protecting spirit is there, presiding over ceremonies or the settlement of disputes. An orator stands beside it and calls on the clan spirit to support his speech.

To emphasis a point, the speaker may strike the "seat" of the stool with a bundle of croton leaves. As long as a man holds the bundle of leaves or grass, he holds the floor. The speaker may gradually reduce the number of leaves in the bundle to show that he is progressing through the points he intends to make. Link to a photo of a Korogo Village orator's stool.

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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