Papua New Guinea Storage Vessels

Papua New Guinea, a natural treasure chest with several active volcanoes and a coastline adorned with some of the world’s most dazzling coral reefs is definitely a place to visit. It is a part of a stretch of mountains from Asia through Indonesia and into the South Pacific known for its vibrant culture and warm indigenous people.

Just like it is with many other ancient traditional aesthetics, the artworks of Papua New Guinea are hugely connected to their culture. Due to the diversity in ethnic groups in the country, the different tribes all practice identifiable and uniquely styled art. In general, the colors and themes of these artworks depend largely on factors such as local tradition, unique styles, individual artist as well as availability of material in the different villages.

People along the Sepik River and its tributaries are well known for their art and craftsmanship, one of them which is the craft of storage vessels. Let's take a look at some of these exotic storage vessels

The Damarau or Sago storage vessel: The Damarau clay pot are expertly made by the women of Aibom Village on the Sepik river. They are the largest of the vessels and are used to store sago - a starchy flour extracted from the soft core of sago palms and a staple component of everyday meals. They hold significant value and can be used in exchange for livestock, canoes, plants and other goods. They are carved and painted with great detail with distinctive features to represent spiritual beings associated with two mythological deities: Meintumbangge and Kolimangge.

Kamana: This is an iconic cooking vessel by the Sawos. It is intricately decorated on the exterior and is a prominent cooking vessel for the people of Papua New Guinea. The patterns incised on the exterior are usually inspired by the natural world.

Abelam: The Abelam clay pot is intriguing to many and scary to a few mostly because of its spirit-face. It was used in the mid-20th century.

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