Along New Guinea’s north coast from the mouth of the Sepik River all the way to Aitape and the corresponding offshore islands figurative food pounders were an important part of a household. Used to mash taro, yams and banana the pounders were often surmounted by either ancestral spirit faces or sometimes full figures such as the present example. The figures represented clearly acknowledge that spirits roll in providing the food being prepared. In this pounder the figure is classic Coastal Sepik with a large head, deep-set eyes, hands to the chin and a congenial cuscus marsupial grasping the top of his head. Overall there is a thick, black glossy patina from generations of use. The piece is ex. Pace Gallery, ex. Pierre Langlois, dates to the early 20th century or before, stands 24” (61 cm) in height and the price is available upon request. Questions?