Collection Online

Diyigu, Yena ceremonial sculpture
(c. 1900-1910)

wood, earth and natural pigments
85.9 × 26.8 × 22.0 cm
Place/s of Execution
Tongwinjamb village, Washkuk Hills, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea
Accession Number
Pacific Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased through the NGV Foundation with the assistance of The Thomas William Lasham Fund, Founder Benefactor, 2001
© the artist
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
Gallery location
Not on display
Physical description
The sculpture's facial features are carved in a more rounded three dimensional forms, a stylistic trait of Yena sculpture deriving from two northern Kwoma tribes - Tokogwiyisheebi of Tongwinjamb village and Wurabajii of Urambanji village. This sculpture was made in Tongwinjamb Village around the turn of the century before European contact. During WWII when people from Tongwinjamb tribe weren't able to defend themselves against armed Japanese patrols and fearing being massacred, Tongwinjamb leaders opened an escape route for their people by making peace with their former enemies at Yelogu village. This sculpture was used as a peace offering which enabled Tongwinjamb people to escape massacre by the Japanese army.