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Ceremonial Head (Yina)

Artist/Maker: Nukuma people (Upper Sepik River, Papua New Guinea)

Date: ca. 1965
Medium: wood and pigment
Overall: 44 x 11 1/4 x 6 in. (111.8 x 28.6 x 15.2 cm)
Classification: Art Works
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Bernard M. Wagner
Object number: 2004.62.1
DescriptionA Yina is a head, either carved of wood or occasionally made of clay, that is associated with a clan. Each one is named; some are male, some female. The motif on the post and on the back of the head refers to the Yina’s name. Each clan owns several; pairs are regarded as brothers and sisters. They are associated with lakes in which the images are submerged from time to time. The heads characteristically have a broad black band painted across the face and little round, projecting eyes. The top of the head is usually furnished with a backward projecting hook in the form of a bird’s head.
Not on view