A Sepik headrest

East Sepik Province, Papua New Guina

Ex collection Steijler Mission, 1935-1938

Wood and Bamboo, 55 x 11 cm

This beautiful old and well used Headrest or Neckrest is from the Coastal Sepik Area in the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea. Both ends of the Headrest is in the form an Ancestors Head. The horizontal support with the head is a single piece of hardwood with warm old patina from long use. The legs are made from two piece of cut bamboo.

Sleeping on a Headrest with ancestors heads protects the person from malevolent spirits and dreams. Also the headrest helps protect their hairstyles during the night.