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Sculptures representing the human form are very rare in the Papuan Gulf region of New Guinea, The Papuan Gulf language for the human body though is particularly successful in conveying the concept of a carving as the personification of a spirit. Two-dimensional and without legs, such as the agiba or representations of the god Iriwake characterize the style of the region. Further west, we see a gradual elongation and articulation to figures such as the present Seaman-Masco figure with its Giacomettiesque attenuation.
Very few figures attributed to the Fly River exist. Some are colorful and have undulating outlines, like the figures to the east (see Webb, et al, Coaxing the Spirits to Dance, 2006, figures 1133 and 134 from the collection of Faith-dorian Wright). More rare still, are those most closely relate to the Seaman figure also have elongated foreheads, upturned mouth and pointed, pierced noses (see Webb, et al, Coaxing the Spirits to Dance, 2006, figure 136 and Friede (ed.) Jolika Collection 2006, catalogue number 493). The Friede and the Wright figures notably are less than 33 cm tall. One other comparably tall figure is in another Private West Coast Collection. This style is more closely related to that of the Torres Strait islanders to the south, and also have very limited figurally representational art.
Douglas Newton noted in Art Styles of the Papuan Gulf, the catalogue of the his 1961 exhibition at the Museum of Primitive Art, and the fifty years since have unfortunately yielded little more information, that there is not a great deal of information that can be given about the use of this sculpture. It is said to be from the delta area of the Bamu or Fly rivers. Throughout this area, an important ceremonial three-part cycle called Moguru was enacted once a year. It involved the preparation of boys and girls for adult life. Fertility rites of both the male and female initiates and the sago palm took place, mock marriages were held, and a wild boar was sacrificed and eaten. Among the objects used in this ritual were protective figures. It is reasonable to assume that this figure was made for display during this ceremony called Moguru (Wardwell 1994:98; Friede, op. cit., p. 165).