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Tiki Central / Collecting Tiki

Share your Papua New Guinea pieces

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(Apologies if I missed an extant thread that covers this territory.)

Papua New Guinea pieces are some of my favorite Oceanic Art, and inspired some of the best Polynesian Pop graphic design of the '50s and '60s (especially Lyle Wheeler's stuff for Aloha Jhoe's & South Pacific). I've always been enchanted by the great pieces my friends have scored over the years, and recently I finally got some of my own.

As you probably heard, the owner of the Palo Alto Trader Vic's passed away recently after a long illness. He also owned an art gallery near my work in Menlo Park that had many old PNG pieces on offer. The pieces were very cool, and were ones he'd often personally collected on trips there over many decades of loving PNG art. But they were priced well out of the range of what I could afford, so it was only window shopping for me.

His wife (now widow) doesn't groove quite so much on the PNG stuff, preferring mainland Asian art instead. Once he passed on, she cleared out the inventory. 70% off. Whoa. Nelly.

I've wanted one of these for so, so long. It's a gope board. There are a few of them at the Palo Alto Trader Vic's. They're just so cheerful. Until you consider that their purpose was to enlist your ancestors to torment your enemies. But maybe they tormented with irrepressible cheer! Take that!

This is a canoe prow. It has birds on it. And black dye that is getting everywhere.

This sort of has to be seen in person to really get all the detail. I'm going to have to rig up some sort of special light on it in the bar, maybe. It's a yipwon/wanleg/kamangabi, depending on who you're talking to.

This is a... uh... a... well, it's a bird, standing on some skulls, which are sitting on a stool that has actual feet for feet. Yeah, I don't get it either. But it reminds me of Tiki tOny.

So, that's what I've got! I'm going to try to hold my PNG acquisitions to just this stuff, because I want to keep the bar balanced, and a little PNG goes a long ways. But boy howdy, do I love it.


I can already tell that this is going to be one of my favorite threads.

Wonderful pieces Humu....absolutely, wonderful! Congratulations.

Thank you for sharing these.

I have a few PNG items laying around:

A food/nut mortar smasing set

You put food or nuts on these guys heads and smash it up with the other long piece

A handheld mask and a hook piece

A gable carving and a dancer figure holding a mwei mask

Storyboard and mask

4' tall Yipwan

My favorite piece, a walking stick:

[ Edited by: Bay Park Buzzy 2009-11-15 17:28 ]

GROG posted on Sun, Nov 15, 2009 6:01 PM

That walking stick is nice.


Ooooooh, amazing stuff, Buzzy. That walking stick has so much going on, it's lovely. Those nut mortar fellows are really cool, too, I haven't seen anything like that before.

here are the few that I have managed to get my hands on ,

Admittedly I know jack about em but I dig the way they look and appreciate the amount of time they took to finish.

Tikiville, I love that last figure. Man I wish I had some cool PNG art to post!


i'm pretty sure these are PNG pieces:

from the Bellevue Traer Vics

i love the details on the feet, hands & arms

from this this sale

Trader Vics Bellevue

from anthropologist's sale

from Sophista-tiki

Shield from Trader Vics Bellevue

purchased from the director of the Burke Musuem in Seattle

Saw these at Elicia's home during our Seattle jaunt..
That Big Guy Downstairs is AMAZING!!!!
Still trying to figger out a way to steal that one....


Buzzy, what do you want to trade for the cane :-)

Dogbytes, I am in "LOVE" with you collection...this is only the second time I have seen an animal figure in the mouth of one of these ancestral figures, and I've been doing a lot of reseach lately on PNG styles. Look at those carved feet! And your Asmat shield is just plain mouth watering...TOTAL YUM!

I don't have many authentic pieces. I really do prefer the Poly Pop version of PNG art.

I'd like to replace the missing shells around the eyes and under the chin on this mask.

There used to be a guy who sold PNG souvenirs at one of the SoCal flea markets. I bought these from him.


I actually don't have much PNG stuff, I don't have the room and it's too "authentic" for me, I like more fake Oceania. But this Asmat shield appealed to me:

Not only because it was already mounted on a gallery stand (for that"Primitve Art Gallery" look):

...but because it was made into a lamp :) :

...which creates a nice orange glow behind the piece:

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2009-11-24 11:47 ]


Found this one at the goodwill a while back.


Just got this Ebay find hung up !


My folks picked up this Mindimbit figure for me as a gift during their visit to Fiji a few years ago.

Here's a side view of a different piece I just got in a trade.

Here's both pieces together. Each is about 15" tall.

This board carving is 18" high.

That's all for now.


"Round up the usual suspects" :)

Zeta posted on Mon, Jan 18, 2010 9:37 PM

From Port Aventura in Spain

With authentic bird caca.

OH!. and just found this one on the weekend at a local antique mall...

Son of a...

Kandingai ancestor mask...

Not so sure on this one??? Any thoughts???

I picked this up today. It is about 4 feet tall and a good 40 pounds.
Any thoughts?

Right side

Left Side

Head Close-up

"Marriage, Mortgages and Mai-Tai's...Whatta life!"

[ Edited by: soccertiki 2010-04-22 13:55 ]


Hey Soccer...I'm not sure of the origin of your new acquisition? Is the coloring on it painted on with a paint? That would date it some. The opposing canines on the gator part look kind of Asian to me?...again, not sure...I do really "LIKE" him however...If you ever feel like working out a trade for this feller you let me know. :)

Just got this off of Kijiji for a good price. I'm pretty pleased with myself:

Chub posted on Sun, May 9, 2010 8:59 AM

I bought this PNG gope board at the LACMA museum gift shop if you can believe it.

Here's my collection so far:

[ Edited by: Pikeys Dog 2010-07-24 16:18 ]


Here are my small pieces..............I've this guys :down: (real human) hair somewhere.

I'm a HUGE fan of PNG carvings. Someday I hope to have a great big mask. Here are the two I have. They are both quite small. I believe the second one to be quite old.

Here are my larger pieces.
Drum, 26"

Canoe prow, 40" end to end.

Food hook, 48"

Large mask, 48"

Wicker mask, 39"

Yipwan, 32"

Yipwan, 49"

Somewhat common wall hanging carved on 1/4" board, 30"

Erik the Red

A nice PNG mask I scored at a Bangkok flea market, about two and a half foot tall.

From the swap today. About the size of a couch cushion.

Flea market find. It's 9" tall, broken off the top of something, and I don't have the other piece. Is it the top of a staff or spear? I haven't been able to find anything similar.

I do not have any PNG pieces but have always wanted some masks. This thread is inspirational...amazing art!!!

Here is the other story board. somewhat bigger than the previous board.


Wow, you all have some nice pieces...

Eric, you're landing some really nice stuff lately. That wicker mask is very interesting.

On 2011-12-26 06:55, Babalu wrote:
Wow, you all have some nice pieces...

Eric, you're landing some really nice stuff lately. That wicker mask is very interesting.

Thanks Babs.
Actually, I am just trying to share more. :) I've seen another wicker mask someplace else. I think a movie or old TV show? Maybe even TC.
Here are a couple other pieces.
20ish inch mask.

A really neat container / bowl. Sadly, damaged with pooooor repair work 7.5" tall by 10.5" wide.

Erik the Red

Thought I'd show my PNG masks.
First my basket work yam mask.

and this years xmas present

don't know what region of New Guinea it came from but it's three feet tall and it was found in Tacoma, the yam mask we found in Portland.

aloha, tikicoma

I stumbled across this nice mask at an antique store today in Santa Barbara.

It's definitely old and has shell eyes.

Don't know too much about the origins, any info would be appreciated.


Picked up another nice little PNG mask. Any info on origins?


A carving of the PNG coat of arms from Goodwill.

Yep, he's touching himself.

Close up of the hang tag.

Just picked up this Papua New Guinea storyboard table. Needs some cleaning, edge repairs and a glass top. Even the legs are carved tiki form.

lancelink, that is an amazing table! Where did you find it?

On 2013-01-24 16:11, tikilongbeach wrote:
lancelink, that is an amazing table! Where did you find it?

Picked it up at a flea market in Santa Rosa. The person I bought it from had no idea where it came from. Someone had it in a barn for a long time judging by the dirt I cleaned off the top.

That table is worth quite a bit of money so definitely baby it. The one I found online cost $900.00.
The Palau Prison produces a lot of storyboards for the tourist trade. It's a relatively new art form that was introduced by occupying Japanese forces in World War II.

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