Lake Sentani Figurative Staff-W.E.C. Veen-New Guinea Art-Oceanic Art Humboldt Bay or Inland Lake Sentani Figurative Staff Between Humboldt Bay and Lake Sentani, Northwest New Guinea Collected circa 1916 by W. E. C. Veen Late 19th century 25 ¾” (65.4 cm) in height Dr. Wonu Veys, in her accompanying essay, writes this about the staff: “The most singular carving is that of a crouching figure on top of a staff. Some of the stylistic elements including the treatment of the eyes, and the large paddle-like hands, refer to the carving of the Humboldt Bay area. The label, in Dutch, of which only a few words can be deciphered seems to suggest this was a “secret” (geheim) carving that was “rare” (zeldzaam) and could not be seen by women. The word “patong” is used, which usually refers to large wooden carvings in Borneo. This carving is clearly from western New Guinea.” In addition, Raymond Corbey and Koos Knol note the word ONDOFORO written on the remains of the label with is the Sentani term for chief or clan head. They also note the word CASUARIS, Dutch for cassowary, and ZIEL, Dutch for soul. In trying to culturally place the staff, Koos Knol suggested the following: “I also tend to situate this staff in the Sentani region although some style elements (parts of the head) indicate Humboldt Bay influence. “Looking at both style areas of Lake Sentani inland and Humboldt Bay on the other side of Mount Cyclop (now Gunung Baboko) and the adjacent Tanamerah Bay, I have previously noticed that especially in the ‘areas in between’ the various style characteristics can be rather fluid in nature. Then it becomes difficult to determine exactly what can be defined as typical Lake Sentani or typical Humboldt Bay. My suspicion is that this particular object should be placed somewhere inland, i.e., between Tanamerah Bay and Lake Sentani. “I would also like to recall the trade that has existed between the village of Ormu on the coastal side of the Cyclop Mountains and several Sentani villages where certain kinship groups had a monopoly on making stone celts. The raw material (Nephrite rock) for this was sourced from the village of Ormu. It is possible that this also played more or less of a role in the corresponding style characteristics in those days” (Pers. Comm. 2 August 2022).