About the object

Hooks from the Sepik region were customarily hung indoors. This colourfully painted hook also functions as a protective roof against rats. A sculpted fish covered with scales carved in relief has been attached through a hole on the disk with string made from bast fibre. The barbels of the fish have been fashioned into hooks on which baggage, usually packed in mesh bags, can be hung. The shape of this hook is rather unusual. Because the object was acquired in 1927 via the dealer in ethnographic artefacts, Arthur Speyer, its provenance is impossible to verify. A similar object held in the Vatican Museum was collected by Father Franz Kirschbaum prior to 1925 in the village of Kaningara on the Sepik River.

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