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This far away and less known country has rich and diverse tradition. This remote area to the north of Australia has remained largely isolated from outside influences both ecologically and culturally.
Most of its art consists in carved wooden sculpture: masks, canoes, story-boards. The main art form is religious. The carvings are created to be inhabited by spirits. They are intended both to help the people meet the challenges of everyday life and to ward off the influences of unfriendly spirits. Many of the carvings are also used in ceremonies and rituals that mark the important stages of life.
This exhibition presents a collection of 230 sculptures linked to the Sepik Valley, a large swampland in the north of Papua New Guinea. Since the first millennium B.C. this area has sheltered peoples who live on the banks of or in areas close to the Sepik River and its tributaries.
The exhibition illustrates the multiple forms and variations in which these ancestral figures appear, from their public forms to their 'secret' forms.