Papua New Guinea has a wonderfully rich cultural heritage and this certainly extends to its artwork. The diversity and vibrancy displayed in this area are quite astounding but that shouldn’t be a surprise when you consider there are over 700 different tribal groups throughout the country. Artworks range from beautifully carved wooden sculptures to imposing masks of all sizes as well as pottery and even face painting.
In this first post in our ‘Art and tribal artefacts of PNG’ series, we take a closer look at the inspiration behind some of these PNG artworks as well as give you some ideas about where you can find these unique pieces.
Inspiration and tools of the trade
People are inspired to create art from a great many things and PNG artists are no different. They draw their influence from a wide range of avenues, such as their religious or spiritual beliefs and their environment (which includes their flora, fauna and animals).
Artists are keen to showcase the natural beauty of PNG in their art so often use local orange wood to carve facial sculptures and masks. They then use shells, native grass fronds and cassowary feathers as decoration.
PNG art and artefacts are also well known for their vibrant colours. Many artists use paints made from native plants combined with other ingredients – such as sap and clay – to decorate their paintings and carvings.