Yipwon (Wanleg) by Lucas GaweYipwon (Wanleg) by Lucas Gawe
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Yipwon (Wanleg)

Lucas Gawe

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Yiipwon (or, in Pidgin, Wanleg) figures are created in the Karawar-Korosomeri region. According to legend, a female ancestor upon her deathbed requested that her son carve a garamut drum from the tree that would spring from her grave. Four days after her death, a large tree emerged from her grave, and her son carried out her wishes, carving the first ever garamut drum. From the many pieces of wood left over, he created the first one-legged Yipwon figures; surprisingly, he found they were able to move and speak. During war expeditions, the figures bound along on their single legs preceeding warriors in order to kill and wreak confusion among the enemy village. Yipwons were also great help in hunting. Formerly, these creatures lived in the Haus Tambaran, where one day a curious woman peeked in the window and spotted them loungin around. She was killed for her transgression and from that day on, the Yipwon reverted to lifeless pieces of wood. -From Mak Bilong Sepik: A Selection of Designs and Paintings from the Sepik River, collected by Helen Dennett, text by Paul Dennett. Wewak, Papua New Guinea: Wirui Press, 1975. (As told by Michael Uliau of Kraimbit)

Artwork Information

Location Papua New Guinea
Region Papua New Guinea
Artist Lucas Gawe
NWC Nation N/A
Date Created 1996
Dimensions 90" x 12" x 19"
Materials & Edition black palm tree fern, shells, wood, natural pigments

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