Neckrest with Ancestor Figures

Tami People, Huon Gulf, Papua New Guinea

Wood, Pigment

19th Century

Probable Budapest Museum collection number

4.5x2.5 in/11x6 cm


This Tami neckrest is a wonderful object in the hand, with both a great presence and patina. The Tami people were the middlemen and main traders in the Vitiaz strait (Huon Gulf) between the coast of PNG and New Britain. Coming from each shoulder connecting to the underside of the neckrest are stylized circular boar tusks 'Yabo' . If the Budapest museum is correct and we believe it is, then possibly from the collection of Lajo Biro who traveled this area prior to 1899 - check Arts of North East New Guinea by Tibor Bodrogi, 1959.