Themes: Food / Carving

Suspension hook

Description:
Suspension hook with animal-like Janus heads making up the shank, surmounted by a main head with serrated edge, and a hole drilled at the top for hanging purposes. The eyes in the head are white annular shell inserts, while cowrie shells are used in the shank. The details are mainly black on white with some red-brown paint, especially in two bands on the hook at the bottom.

Context:
Suspension hooks are usually used to hang food and other precious items away from the ground. They are suspended from roof beams, and hung with bags called 'billums.' In the Sepik region they are often carved with ancestor figures.