Janare figure



Carved wooden figure of a woman with a diamond shaped face and arms bent up towards chin. These figures are representations of ancestors. They would have stood on either side of a maloca (communal house). The figures were said to protect their owner from malicious forces - they were his eyes and ears while he was asleep. Carved figures were also important during naming ceremonies, after which they would be destroyed. Missionaries discouraged the making of these figures, and they were rarely made after the 1920's.