Collection Online

Maway (Shooting star)

earth and natural pigments on sago palm petiole
125.1 × 69.7 cm
Place/s of Execution
Bangwis 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
© Courtesy of the copyright holder
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 painting depicts maway the shooting stars believed by Kwoma people to be the soul (mayi) of powerful men who have recently died flying thought the night sky from the villages which they lived to their final resting places in the underworld beneath one or other of the black lagoons that flank the Washkuk Hills. The design representation of flying soul’s face; this possesses two large black eyes (black roundels outlined in yellow) a large black ovoid nose outlined in both in yellow and white sawtooth motif, and a wide upward-turning mouth. Two roundels outlined in yellow and white at the bottom of the design represent the deceased man’s ‘bones.