Papua New Guinea, West Sepik, Telefomin Region, ca. early 1940s CE. A huge and intricately decorated wooden door board (amitung), finely carved and painted in red, chocolate brown, and white hues in the manner that is traditional to the Telefomin area of Papua New Guinea - presenting a symmetrical composition of stylized geometric and perhaps phytomorphic motifs. Telefomin is located in the Star Mountains which are near the upper reaches of the Sepik River in the Sanduan Province. Notice that these doors are intended to allow access to only one individual at a time. The unusual leaf shape with the small, low entry point is designed with climate control and security in mind. The Telefomin are famous for their finely carved and beautifully painted door boards. Size: 22.625" W x 103" H (57.5 cm x 261.6 cm); 107" H (271.8 cm) on included custom stand.
In Papua New Guinea, these door boards are called "amitung". Traditionally, they have been used for vernacular houses as the entry door - the residents and visitors entering and leaving their houses through the hole at the base of the board. Telefomin carvings adorn the facades of both residences and ceremonial houses. Door boards are usually boldly carved with geometric designs and painted in bright colors like this example. Carving and home building are traditional pursuits in Telefomin. Homes are customarily built upon slender piles and possess elevated floors and thatched roofs. Inside, a pair of baked clay hearths are usually set in the floor.
Provenance: private Newport Beach, California, USA collection
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Expected surface wear commensurate with age and weathering. Normal areas of pigment loss - though much of the painted design remains, water stains, and stable fissures from weathering/age. There is a small puncture/loss to the mid-section of the carving just above the doorway. Otherwise very good.