The Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas
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Oceania
Biwat peoples, Papua New Guinea
Figure for a Sacred Flute
ca. 1900–1920
Wood, stone, shell, boar tusk, human hair, cassowary feathers, fiber, pigment
Raymond and Laura Wielgus Collection
Indiana University Art Museum, 75.53

One of the most dramatic objects in the Wielgus collection, this figure was placed in the end of a long transverse flute when it was not being played. The figure was displayed with the flute during certain ceremonies and both indicated its owner's wealth and enhanced his status.