Image: Ghost of Sweet Potato: E23943 B

Ghost of Sweet Potato: E23943 B

Wooden figure representing kar dema – a ghost of sweet potato, Marind-Anim people Papua Province, Indonesia. Size 120x35 cm.


Stan Florek
© Australian Museum


Wooden figure made with fibre, resin, seeds and pigments representing a ghost of sweet potato. It was used in ceremonies by Marind-Anim people who live in the south-east corner of West Papua Province around Merauke - a city considered to be one of the easternmost cities in Indonesia.Merauke was established in 1902 as a military colonial post by the Dutch, to prevent raids by the Marind-Anim people into the neighbouring regions of British New Guinea and the Torres Strait Islands Boigu, Dauan and Saibai. Figure acquired in 1916.

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