Tanz der Ahnen Kunst vom Sepik in Papua-Neuguinea


Hook, Ethnologisches Museum Berlin © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Ethnologisches Museum, Foto: Claudia Obrocki

“The deeds of the ancestors created the human world. The changes they wrought are manifested in the environment and cultural relics. The ancestors, it is supposed, created the broad river basin of the Sepik, on whose embankments stand the dwellings and the houses of the men. Of key significance are the dance floors in front of the men’s houses; that is where the ancestor figures perform, recalling the great deeds of yore. The dancers embody these ancestors with their rich jewellery and brightly coloured masks and become one with them.”


Panel “malu”, Museum der Kulturen Basel © Museum der Kulturen Basel

“The Sepik plain is a large area of water and marshland. The banks of the Sepik, which extends for almost 1,200 kilometres, are inhabited by small tribal groups who speak over a hundred different languages. On the middle and lower reaches of the Sepik alone over ninety different languages are spoken, so one cannot think of the region as a relatively homogeneous settlement area. No sooner had the Sepik been discovered and named (in 1886) Kaiserin Augusta River by the German colonialists (who also drew on the same nomenclature for the Bismarck Sea into which it flowed), than the highly elaborate material culture aroused the attention of collectors and museologists all over the world.”

Link para o texto completo da exposição no site do Martin Gropius Bau


About paoleb

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