AN EWA ARIPA FIGURE
Provenance: Taylor Dale, Santa Fe
Ewa Aripa carvings from the Rainforest of the upper Korewori River region Northern Papua New Guinea were kept protected from moisture in rock shelters. They were spared from rot and are of considerable antiquity. In the past each man owned an Aripa. Together with those of other hunters they were standing in the men’s ceremonial house. Representing potent spirits, the Aripa served as “hunting helpers”.
At death the image, accompanied by the bones and personal effects of the deceased, was taken to a rock shelter where it was placed alongside the aripa of other departed hunters and other sacred carvings. Serving as temporary campsites and places of remembrance, these rock-shelters were open to the entire community and the once-secret aripa images were visible to all.
Karewari River, Papua New Guinea
Wood, 1.05 m. Good condition