Inyai-Ewa Male Ancestor Figure (Aripa), Korewari River Region, Papua New Guinea
Maureen Zarember, New York
Allan Stone, New York
Regarding the male figures Kjellgren (2007: 57) notes: “In the past each man owned an aripa, which was kept, together with those of other hunters, in the men’s ceremonial house (koa). Representing potent spirits whose souls (tite) resided within the images, the aripa served as ‘hunting helpers’ [...]"
And he continues (ibid.): “At death […] the image, accompanied by the bones and personal effects of the deceased, was taken to a rock shelter where it was placed alongside the aripa of other departed hunters and other sacred carvings. Serving as temporary campsites and places of remembrance, these rock-shelters were open to the entire community and the once-secret aripa images were visible to all.”