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Malagan Figure: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
This large figure holds an instrument called katoviso, which comprises a group of bamboo pipes that are played by blowing across the top. The piper's rain hat, made of a pandan leaf, is typical for women. The stylized snake carvings that compose the skirt represent the woman's connection to the spiritual world. Serpents appear frequently in the art of New Ireland because of their supernatural powers. This figure likely portrays a clan ancestor for whom a malagan ceremony was held.
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Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: November 21, 2009