This Asmat figure comes from the collection of Y. Ydema. He purchased it at Christie's auctions in Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 1986.
The position of the arms of this figure refers to the praying mantis (Rhombodera papuana), which featured as inspiration to the artist. It is a potent headhunting symbol, because this insect offers an almost literal analog to the Asmat ritual of headhunting.
Heads were hunted to keep the (cosmic) balance between life and death. One cannot exist without the other. Just like there cannot be sunrise (birth), without sunset (death), as both are part of the daily course of the sun.
The female mantis eats the head of the male during copulation. In dying in this manner, the male mantis “offers” his nutritious head in order to allow the female’s eggs a better chance of survival.
Biographical information about the collector will be e-mailed to the winning bidder.
- Nome dell'oggetto indigeno
- 87 cm - ex coll. Y. Ydema (1947-2006) / Christie's
- West Papua (ex Irian Jaya)
- Legno, Pigmenti Secchi
- circa 1950
- Buone condizioni
- Venduto con supporto
- 87×13×14 cm