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RARE NEW IRELAND ANCESTOR HEAD

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024

RARE NEW IRELAND ANCESTOR HEAD

Size 19 cm
Material Bone, parinarium nuts and pigments
Origin New Ireland

"In New Ireland, the body of a deceased was buried of cremated. In the center of the island, the skull was seperately preserved. It could be painted with ochre or overmodeled, the flesh was recreated.... At the begining of the funeral rite, the skull was buried close to the Uli figures. Young trees were planted where the skull have been buried, to bind symbolically death and fertility. Some weeks later, the skull was exhumed and overmodeled. It was presented again, in public, close to the Uli figures. They were also shown during the Malagan ceremonies. It is believed that the first head of the Uli figures were made of overmodeled skulls." Ingrid Heermann, Océanie, Signes de rites, Symboles d’autorité, ING-Fonds Mercator, Bruxelles, 2008, p. 94 

Provenance

Loed and Mia van Bussel, Amsterdam

acquired in the 1980's 

The Berend Hoekstra Collection

"For me, primitive means basic, primary, brutal, essential... Essential to life, essential to art, essential to creating. For me, primitive is a compliment." Berend Hoekstra in Conru, "the eye of the Moko", Tribal 3, summer 2003.

Berend Hoekstra is a well-known Dutch artist residing in Brussels. Born in Roosendaal in 1958. His paintings and sculpture are extremely powerful.

At the age of 12, while visiting the satellite of the Leiden Museum in Breda, he enterderd in contact for the rst time with Oceanic Art. As a young artist in Amsterdam he nally met Loed and Mia van Bussel, who were specialist in Oceanic art and had an amazing collection. In those early days, he bought from them the incredible New Ireland ancestor head (lot 24). So early on, he had the chance to acquire important pieces wich today, would be dif cult to nd. 

Published

Océanie, ING, under the direction of Frank Herreman, Exhibition catalogue, 2008, Fonds Mercator.
"Object en Betekenis. VVE Jaarboek Nummer 4:
de Kunstenaar en zijn etnogra ca - in gesprek
met Berend Hoekstra", p. 9 

Exhibited

Wereld Museum, Rotterdam

Océanie, ING Brussels,
23 October 2008 - 15 March 2009