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Painting from a Ceremonial House Ceiling

Throughout New Guinea, men’s ceremonial houses were, and in many places still are, the primary focus for painting and sculpture. Like the cathedrals of medieval Europe, they are generally the largest and most sacred buildings in the village, rising high above the ordinary dwellings that surround them. Typically, entry into the ceremonial house is restricted to initiated men, although in some cases, women and children can enter under certain circumstances for specific events. Ceremonial houses serve as the venue for nearly all important male religious rites – such as initiation rites for young boys - and at other times function as meeting houses or informal gathering places. Their structure and ...
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Sago palm spathe, paint
146.7 x 46.4cm
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

Where you'll find this

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Permanent collection