Cultural History In Focus | "Re-Collecting Father Viegen's Asmat Objects" by Karel Weener from Tribal Art Magazine

 

Drum - Asmat, Papua Barat, Indonesia - Material: Wood, Rattan, Lizard Skin - Height 88 centimeters - Provenance: This Asmat drum was, on the occasion of his departure from Asmat, donated to J.H.M.C. Boelaars MSC, by the staff of the diocese Agats, as a token of appreciation for his ethnographic research in the Asmat area. Photo Jan van Esch

 
 
 

Re-Collecting Father Viegen's Asmat Objects

by Karel Weener

 
 
 

This article was generously provided by Tribal Art Magazine.
Special thank you to Karel Weener, Alex Arthur, and Noëlle Ghilain.

 
 
Tribal Art Magazine Autumn 2014 Number 73
 
 
 

Ancestor figure B, accompanied by a document typed by the collector indicating: “Female Figure. Wide open mouth with tongue. Hands and legs bent. Missing legs below the knee. Hands touching the lower jaw. H. 70 cm. Hardwood and heavy, slightly colored. Originally entirely covered with white chalk. Incised lines painted red. Purchased at the MSC missionary house in 1950. Collected by Father Viegen ... Noordwest River. See P. Viegen in the Annals, 1912–1913.” Private collection. Photo: Jan van Esch.

Ancestor figure D, accompanied by a document typed by the collector indicating: “Male figure. Hands clasped tightly under the chin, also with both feet. Arms and legs bent. H: 77 cm. Soft wood and light, originally fully painted with lime. Red incised lines. Purchased at the MSC missionary house in 1950. Collected by Father Viegen ... Noordwest River. See P. Viegen in the Annals 1912–1913.” Private collection. Photo: Jan van Esch

Ancestor figure J, accompanied by a document typed by the collector indicating: “Female Figure. Left hand on knee. Missing right arm. Legs straight down. H: 87 cm. Soft wood and light. Originally painted with lime. Incised lines painted red; navel also painted, bands around the legs and painted lizard figure on back. Purchased at the MSC missionary house in 1950. Collected by Father Viegen ... Noordwest River. Private collection. Photo: Jan van Esch

Shield with multiple arrow strikes. Northwest Asmat, Papua, Indonesia. Early 20th Century, collected by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC). Private collection. 130 cm Photo: Jan van Esch

Shield no. 15. Private Collection, Amsterdam. Photo: Jan van Esch.

Shield no. 20, accompanied by a document typed by the collector indicating: “Shield with rhomboid decorations. Length: 133 cm. Greatest width: 28.5 cm. Whitewash with dark brown. Purchased from the MSC mission house in 1950. Collected by Father Viegen ... Noordwest River?” Private collection. Photo: Jan van Esch

Shield no. 21, accompanied by a document typed by the collector indicating: “Shield with arrow-shaped decorations. Originally covered with white chalk and decorations painted in red (dark brown). Purchased at the MSC mission house in 1950. Collected by Father Viegen ... Noordwest River? H: 118 cm, greatest width: 30 cm.” It is visible in fig. 12. Private collection. Photo: Jan van Esch.

Dagger - Locale: Asmat, Papua Barat, Indonesia - Material: Human femur bone (Homo sapiens), Coix seeds (Coix lacryma-jobi), Abrus seeds (Abrus precatorius), Southern Cassowary feathers and quills (Casuarius), Fibers, Cord - Length: 34 centimeters - Provenance: Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC), Tilburg, Photo Jan van Esch

Drum - Asmat, Papua Barat, Indonesia - Material: Wood, Rattan, Lizard Skin - Height 88 centimeters - Provenance: This Asmat drum was, on the occasion of his departure from Asmat, donated to J.H.M.C. Boelaars MSC, by the staff of the diocese Agats, as a token of appreciation for his ethnographic research in the Asmat area. Photo Jan van Esch

Drum - Asmat, Papua Barat, Indonesia - Material: Wood, Rattan, Lizard Skin - Height 88 centimeters - Provenance: This Asmat drum was, on the occasion of his departure from Asmat, donated to J.H.M.C. Boelaars MSC, by the staff of the diocese Agats, as a token of appreciation for his ethnographic research in the Asmat area. Photo Jan van Esch

 
 

Karel Weener

 
 
Art of the Ancestors Karel Weener
 
 

Karel Weener studied archaeology in Leiden (Cum Laude, 2007) but specialized during his education in ethnohistory. Today he is an archaeologist who, in search of primary source material, carries out excavation work in archives. For the last twelve years he has examined the provenance and the historical background of ethnographic objects and collections.

Within this field of research he is concentrating on Oceania, (West) Papua, Southeast Asia, Protestant and Catholic missionary collections, and on collections which were collected during scientific and military exploratory expeditions.

 
 
 

Disclaimer: Art of the Ancestors is a strictly non-commercial educational platform and has no vested interest or business relationship with Karel Weener. We do not take any responsibility for the content they publish; their opinions are their own.

 
 

Colophon

Author | © Karel Weener
Publication | Tribal Art Magazine
Issue | Autumn 2014 | Number 73