Oceanic Art - Lime container, Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea

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Lime container
Huon Gulf, Papua New Guinea
7-3/4” high by 2” wide
Mid-20th century

This very rare and unusual bamboo lime container is from the Huon Peninsula of Papua New Guinea. In finely drawn incised lines it depicts a python coiled around a nude woman, fangs bared, with a ferocious dog barking to the right, and a bald man being impaled on a huge sword while another bald man runs from the scene. Nearby, a very large parrot carries a writhing serpent through the palm trees while a nude woman sits cross-legged feeding smaller parrots fruit from the basket on her head. This is a wild transitional object showing the influence of Western imagery mixed with modified Huon border scrolls. The figures are raised from the surface of the bamboo, as if the background had been scraped away.



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