Minja Carving

Kwoma people
Washkuk Hills, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea
Wood, various earth pigments

Carved and painted wood board with large face at top. The Kwoma refer to this as the “minja.” Minja carvings are believed to represent water spirits living in lakes, and are sometimes seen under the surface of the water. They are also associated with the sky. During the “double figure for minja ceremony,” it is carried by two Kwoma men in dances to honor the yam harvest.