Birds from Paradise

We welcome you to our much-anticipated spring exhibition, Birds from Paradise. We are very happy to present this colourful, bright and whimsical group of carvings by celebrated master carvers, collected in May of 2004 during a gallery field trip to Papua New Guinea. While some of these fine carvings are from Korogo and Palembei Villages, most were carved in Yamok.

 Consisting of five hamlets, Yamok is a half-day's trek inland from the banks of the great Sepik River. The trail leads through swamps and jungle to this charming Sawos village. Such a location has discouraged most tourist visits and softened the effects from the outside world, enabling Yamok to maintain a fine balance between tradition and global influences.

 Ceremony continues in Yamok within the walls of the magnificent Spirit House completed in 2003. With roof and walls constructed entirely from parts of the sago palm, it towers over the village as testament to the continuing strength and vitality of these ancient traditions. In this place young men are initiated into manhood and the culture is celebrated with ritual and dance. In our accompanying video, silhouetted against the light, can be seen the carved hornbills for which this village is renowned and which we celebrate in this exhibition. If you have media viewing capability on your computer, you can download the short video clip (9.2 MB) showing the interior of the Spirit House by clicking on the image below. The file will open in a separate window.

 We hope you enjoy this spring celebration of flight!

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23 Item(s)

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