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Oceanic Art Collection

The University of Central Oklahoma’s Oceanic Art Collection contains 27 art pieces from New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. More than 10 different regions and societies are represented. Many of the objects originated from the Sepik Region of New Guinea which is within Melanesia, a small chain of islands located northeast of Australia. The cultures of New Guinea are estimated to be 45,000 years old. New Guinea is home to hundreds of tribes, some of which are completely isolated from the others within their region. In many cases, New Guinea societies are small and lack formal leadership. Each tribe possesses its own language, which is often unknown by any neighboring tribes. There are approximately 1300 different languages spoken across the chain of islands in New Guinea.

The Oceanic Art Collection further diversifies UCO’s ever-growing collection of art and artifacts which offers students the opportunity to study and develop cultural competency.

Mask - Itamul, Mid-Sepik River, Kamambit region, New Guinea

This mask features a stylized head with a downturned mouth. It is enclosed in a woven rattan open-work frame with chicken feathers attached at the ends. 
(Kirkpatrick Foundation, Gift of Mr. Jerome L. Ross)

 

Mask (Front and side views) - Iatmul Mid-Sepik River Area, Japandi Village

(Kirkpatrick Foundation, Gift of Mr. Jerome L. Ross)

Suspension Hook - Itamul Mid-Sepik River Area, Yentchamangua, New Guinea

(Kirkpatrick Foundation, Gift of Mr. Jerome L. Ross)

Gable Figure - Sepik River Area, Karawari River Region

(Kirkpatrick Foundation, Gift of Mr. Jerome L. Ross)

Hoe - Munjami, Konomei Village

A hoe used for tilling the soil in farming. The long, bone handle is lashed to a cassowary bone blade.
(Kirkpatrick Foundation, Gift of Mr. Jerome L. Ross)

 

Mask - Eastern Sepik River Area

(Kirkpatrick Foundation, Gift of Mr. Jerome L. Ross)

Gope Board - Papuan Gulf, Baimuru Region, New Guinea

A gope board featuring relief carving in the form of a stylized face. It is composed of weathered wood, pigment and kaolin.
(Kirkpatrick Foundation, Gift of Mr. Jerome L. Ross)

 

Mask - Region Undetermined

(Kirkpatrick Foundation, Gift of Mr. Jerome L. Ross)

Cassowary Bird Figure - Sepik River Region

(Kirkpatrick Foundation, Gift of Mr. Jerome L. Ross)

 

Penis Cover - Sepik or Maprik Region

(Kirkpatrick Foundation, Gift of Mr. Jerome L. Ross)

Mwia (Mei) Mask (Front and side views) - Itamul, Korogo Village

(Kirkpatrick Foundation, Gift of Mr. Jerome L. Ross)

House Mask - Mandtami, Anbonwiri Village

(Kirkpatrick Foundation, Gift of Mr. Jerome L. Ross)

Necklace - Assoro, Samogoni Village

(Kirkpatrick Foundation, Gift of Mr. Jerome L. Ross)

Gable Mask (Front and side views) - Sepik Region

(Kirkpatrick Foundation, Gift of Mr. Jerome L. Ross)

Asmat Figures - Asmat, New Guinea

These more contemporary works are openwork carvings of light wood in the forms of human and animal figures. 
(Kirkpatrick Foundation, Gift of Mr. Jerome L. Ross) 

Asmat Female Figures - New Guinea

A figure of a woman with another woman on her back. It is carved from light-stained wood.
(Kirkpatrick Foundation, Gift of Mr. Jerome L. Ross)

Canoe Prow - Solomon Islands

(Kirkpatrick Foundation, Gift of Mr. Jerome L. Ross)

Bull-Roarer - Mid Sepik, Cambri Lake Region, Tchambuli, Wombun

(Kirkpatrick Foundation, Gift of Mr. Jerome L. Ross)

 

Paddle with detail view - Mid Sepik, Chambri Lake Region, Tchambuli, Wombun

(Kirkpatrick Foundation, Gift of Mr. Jerome L. Ross)

 

Skull Rack - Sepik Grasslands, Yindigum, New Guinea

(Kirkpatrick Foundation, Gift of Mr. Jerome L. Ross)

 

Bride Price - Papuan Gulf, Kikori Region, New Guinea

(Kirkpatrick Foundation, Gift of Mr. Jerome L. Ross)

 

House Mask - Sepik River Region New Guinea

Large masks such as this were hung over the entrances to the men's houses. In these houses, young men underwent initiation and received training for their adult responsibilities.

Bowl with detail view of handle - Sepik River Area, Ramu River region, New Guinea

A long bowl featuring an incised design. It probably represents a canoe.
(Kirkpatrick Foundation, Gift of Mr. Jerome L. Ross)