Collection Online

Mbis pole
(c. 1980)

earth pigments on wood
183.0 × 26.5 × 97.0 cm
Place/s of Execution
Sawa village, northwest Asmat, West Papua
Accession Number
Pacific Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Todd Barlin through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program, 2006
© the artist
Gallery location
Not on display
This Mbis ancestral pole was carved from carefully selected well-grown tree by master carver, Bruno Jurr in Sawa village, northwest Asmat in West Papua. Such poles pay respect to the deceased relative and ancestor who is represented by the main carved object and have sacred value to ask for protection from the enemies. The white paint used is made from crushed oyster shells, the red paint from red clay while the black is made from pitch.