LARGE Chambri / Aibom Pottery Jar - Papua New Guinea (Ex. 1970's Collection)
This rare pottery jar was part of a large collection of artifacts collected from the region of the Sepik River, Papau New Guinea in the early 1970's. Most of the collection comprised wooden artifacts, but there were also some much rarer pottery items that we were able to acquire. This particular jar is from the village of Aibom which is the only village in this region to have clay suitable for this type of pottery, albeit a coarse gritty clay. The purpose of the jar is for the storage of sago palm flour. It is heavily-potted and quite low-fired. Such jars are decorated with human, bird and/or animal faces and painted with various natural pigments. Due to the nature and use of such jars, surviving examples in collections often have some degree of damage or repair. Typically the surface colour of the pottery will vary from a reddish-brown to black due to uneven conditions during firing, and there are sometimes firing cracks, especially where the pottery is at its thickest. Most such jars have a rounded base and are placed in a soft ground, but if displayed any type of circular base or ring will allow the jar to stand securely upright. There are two types of jars for the storage of sago palm flour, the smaller type being the "noranggau". A jar of this exceptional size is called a "damarau".
Height 59 cm (23.25 inches). This example is decorated with a bird face, the beak of which is extended to act as a handle. It is painted with black, white and yellow-ochre pigments. There are some chips to the edges. There is a repair to the rim, and the surface to the rim chip has been stabilised to prevent further flaking. There is a crack to the back that seems to be a firing crack that has an old repair with some kind of tar or resin. This jar is available to view at our gallery.
Jars of this type can be found in various museums such as the example at the Art Gallery of New South Wales: "www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/418.1994/"
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