Oceania, Papua New Guinea, upper Sepik River, Telefol region, Mountain Ok people, ca. mid-20th century CE. A wonderful example of a prestigious type of bilum (string bag) known as tiyaapl men. The bag portion is comprised of loosely woven vegetal and bark fibers that are dyed with hued of green and red and has a slender strap arching across the top. Displayed across the upper periphery are 47 large cassowary feathers that are attached by narrowing one end of the quill and looping it up into the hollow quill body. The tiyaapl men bag is used primarily by men to show their prowess as a hunter due to the difficulty of killing the aggressive cassowary. Custom display frame included. Size (bag): 8.75" W x 9" H (22.2 cm x 22.9 cm); (w/ feathers) 20" H (50.8 cm); (display frame): 15" W x 18" H (38.1 cm x 45.7 cm)
For additional information on tiyaapl men bilum bags, please see D'Alessandro, Jill and Christina Hellmich. "From Construction to Ritual Function: An Exploration of New Guinea Fiber Masterworks." Textile Society of America Symposium Proceedings, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 2008.
Provenance: private J.H. collection, Beaverton, Oregon, USA, acquired around 2010; ex-private collection
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Minor loosening to some fibers, fading to original pigmentation, and light fraying to some feathers, otherwise intact and very good. Light remains of original pigment on bag.