Sambam suspension hook

Reference : 2141

Samban suspension hook
Wood with traces of pigment, cowrie shells (monetaria moneta)
Height: 65cm
Presumed period: early 20th century
Iatmul language group
Lake Chambri region
Papua New Guinea

Source :
– Former John Charles Edler collection, Bloomington, Indiana.
– Private collection, USA

Kevin Conru. Sepik, Ramu art. Brussels 2019, reproduced on page 89

Iatmul suspension hooks known as samban feature human faces or complete human figures, usually named in honor of an ancestor, mythical or real.
Some rare hooks, like ours, feature a catfish, a totemic creature associated with the owner’s clan. These hooks served as sacred images through which the supernatural beings they represented could be consulted.
Among the Iatmul, catfish iconography was associated with powerful waken spirits, the most powerful supernatural beings, who are mentioned in a founding myth with sexual connotations1.

John Charles Edler (1947-2015)
After graduating with a degree in art and anthropology, John Charles Adler spent his life traveling the world as an art collector and dealer, focusing on Papua New Guinea. Known for his extensive knowledge of the country’s art and culture, he has long collaborated with numerous museums.

Price: €9,500

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