Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Wooden carved house post, anthropomorphic, with a fish carved beside neck on each side. The upper section of a 'haus tamberan'. Weathered surface.

  • Ethnic name

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 254 centimetres (approx)
    • Width: 54 centimetres (approx)
    • Depth: 38 centimetres (approx)
  • Curator's comments

    Collected by vendor. Western IATMUL, near AMBUNTI, middle SEPIK River, TERRITORY of NEW GUINEA. The upper section of an old HAUS TAMBERAN post.Iatmul man, Claytus Yambon, visited the British Museum as part of the Melanesian Research Project in 2009 and made many comments about this pole (see Bolton et al 2013), including:
    'It is a great piece, done in the old time. The old people, our fathers, they were great artists...The old carved poles are just rotting away, but this one here, it's just great, it's great that it survives here...It represents a spirit as well as being a house post...The post...was carved with stone. But carved with stone or metal, it doesn't make any difference. The techniques are similar. But the stone tool gives a very smooth finish'.


  • Bibliography

    • Bolton et al 2013 p.119, fig.105 (pictured with Claytus Yambon in the Living and Dying exhibition, Wellcome Trust Gallery at the British Museum) bibliographic details
    • Bolton et al 2013 p.121, fig.106 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G24

  • Exhibition history

    2004-ongoing, BM, Gallery 24, Living and Dying

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Collected by vendor during fieldwork in Papua New Guinea, early 1960s.

  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number


Register 1964  Wood carved post. The upper section of a haus tamberan post.

Register 1964 Wood carved post. The upper section of a haus tamberan post.

Image description



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Object reference number: EOC23102

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