Sentani people / Mother and Child from Chief's Housepost / 19th-early 20th centurySentani people
Mother and Child from Chief's Housepost
19th-early 20th century

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Pacific; Melanesian; New Guinean; Papuan
Creator Name-CRT: Sentani people
Title: Mother and Child from Chief's Housepost
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1800
Creation End Date: 1933
Creation Date: 19th-early 20th century
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: wood
Dimensions: H. 36 1/8 in. (91.8 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1979.206.1440
Credit Line: The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Bequest of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1979

Mother and child figures are rare in Oceanic art. This example comes from the Lake Sentani region on the northern coast of New Guinea. The Sentani people live over the lake itself in villages built on wooden pilings. The Sentani have a hierarchical social structure, including both chiefs and commoners. Until the early twentieth century, the chief's house was the largest structure in the village and was frequently decorated with carvings depicting a variety of subjects. Wooden figures such as this one adorned the tops of posts that supported the roof and floor of the chief's house and were also carved into the pilings supporting the boardwalk bridges that connected the houses in the village.

AMICA ID: MMA_.1979.206.1440
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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