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Currently shown

Ceremonial Platter

Location

INDONESIA, PROVINCE OF PAPUA, LAKE SENTANI

Culture

Sentani

Title

Ceremonial Platter

Date

1st half of 20th c.

Materials

Wood, pigments

Dimensions

131.2 x 27.3 x 4.5 cm

Credits

Purchase, gift of F. Cleveland Morgan, inv. 1949.Pc.8

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

This platter, carved in the shape of a shield, was used to serve sago, starch from the sago palm, a dietary staple in the area. It is covered in designs similar to those found on cloth made of beaten bark (tapa), the posts of large communal houses, drums and daggers. The curvilinear patterns are stylized representations of fish, birds and various other animals. Over the centuries, trade between Lake Sentani communities and coastal peoples fostered the exchange of cultural practices, objects and decorative motifs. Adopting a type of decoration whose power was recognized by a neighbouring group increased the power of one’s own possessions.

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