RARE CARVED ASMAT HORNBILL BIRD SCULPTURE, HEADHUNTING CLAN TOTEM

Origin: Irian Jaya, Asmat People   (Provenance: recently discovered in an old Los Angeles collection of an anthropology professor)

Period/Date:  At least 1960's likely older

Materials:  Wood, earth pigments, fiber, feathers, shell, job's tear seeds (Coix lacryma-jobi), antique iron nail

Description:  This excellent rendering of a Hornbill bird appears to be totally unique!  It is presented on a custom metal stand and we believe it was used as a headhunting clan totem in some manner.  Judging how old the wood looks in person, as well as field use, we feel it could be surprisingly old.  It has lavish shell, seed and feather adornment attached at the neck.  In good condition retaining about 75-80 percent of its original charcoal, lime and ocher pigments.  There is a very old hand-forged iron nail driven at a diagonal through the end of its tail.  

Dimensions:   Length 18.75"  (47.5 cm), Width of body 2.75"  (7 cm), Depth of body 4.75"  (12 cm), Overall height from beak to meal base 18.5" (47 cm).

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