Abelam Gisa Digging Stick-New Guinea Art-Oceanic Art
The tall yam digging stick used by men in their ritual long yam gardens are called “gisa.” The anthropologist Noel McGuigan wrote an interesting article on these entitled “Wosera Abelam Digging Sticks; an example of art in action” in the Pacific Arts journal in 1993—which is very good reading. The present object is the carved figurative top of just such a large black palm wood digging stick. The piece has nice remains of Western trade paint and an overall aged glossy patina. The piece dates to the 1930/40s, is 25 ½” (64.7 cm) in height.