Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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4 / Ceremony and Society

House Post Figure
House Post Figure
Artist / Origin Kambot (Tin Dama) artist, Karem River, Lower Sepik region, Papua New Guinea
Region: Oceania
Date 19th century
Material Wood, paint, and fiber
Medium: Sculpture
Dimensions H: 8 ft. (2.44 m.)
Location The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Credit Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller

expert perspective

Roy W. HamiltonCurator for Asian and Pacific Collections, Fowler Museum at UCLA

House Post Figure

» Kambot (Tin Dama) artist, Karem River, Lower Sepik region, Papua New Guinea

expert perspective

Roy W. Hamilton Roy W. Hamilton Curator for Asian and Pacific Collections, Fowler Museum at UCLA

We tend to think of marriage or initiation rites for young people, but in societies where these kinds of secret societies, which is what they’re often termed in Africa, or cult groups or religious associations of various types exist, there are often many, many levels of initiation. And in Guinea they talk about this happening once every five years or so, where an adult male is expected to rise to a new level of status by performing certain events in the community. And the dedication of the ceremonial house—of a very elaborate ceremonial house—is the highest achievement. So, the dedication of the ceremonial house reflects greatly on his status and his standing in the community.” 

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