Sculpture - Malagan

Production date
Papua New Guinea
New Ire
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Object detail

Sculpture, wood, carved plaque with human figures, birds, fish and snakes, painted red, white and black. Turbo petholatus opercula eyes. Kobokobor horizontal sculpture, a fish lies on each end of the kobokobor. Two marumarua are depicted, with one holding a snake. Two black birds face the centre of the kobokobor, which is hollowed out.
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Production place
L3325mm x W443mm
Media/Materials description
Wood, opercula from Turbo Petholatus, bush fibre
History and use
The kobokobor horizontal sculpture is used in Malagan. Most often a long horizontal sculptural form, the kobokobor often acts as the horizontal base for a vertical eikuar or marumarua.

Interpreted as the 'root of the tree of the malagan', the kobokobor is understood to the strongest of the malagans.

When transferred to the next generation, the new owner has been handed the main bulk of the clan's malagans and that responsibility is then transferred to them.

Malagan ceremonies are large, intricate traditional cultural events that take place in parts of New Ireland province in Papua New Guinea. The word malagan also refers to wooden carvings which are prepared for the ceremonies, and to an entire system of traditional culture.
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