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 56 cm (22 inches). There are traces of red and white pigments. There are some chips to the edges of the face and the rim, and the "nose" has been broken and re-stuck, as has part of the rim. The surface of the rim chips has been stabilised to prevent flaking. 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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