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        Bis Poles

        This article from the WGBH program Sister Wendy: "American Collection" discusses the bis poles of the Asmat people of New Guinea. These 15-foot-high wooden poles carved from mangrove trees played an essential role in cultural beliefs. The carvings on the pole depict figures and symbols of Asmat religion, including a canoe to take the dead away. The poles were also used in head hunting ceremonies, which restored the balance of the world after a person had died. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Asmat people, New Guinea, 20th century.

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