AR104 Museum Paper

AR104 Museum Paper - Caitlin McGowan AR104 Section B...

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Caitlin McGowan AR104 – Section B Professor King October 18 , 2010 The Three Bis Poles and Buddha , probably Amitabha While I was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art , I found two sculptures that represented the importance of preparation for the afterlife . The first sculpture I came across was the Three Bis Poles . These unique poles are built by from scratch by the Asmat people in New Guinea , Papua. Bis poles were constructed primarily as an act of revenge . Each individual pole is made with wood, paint, and fiber. The second sculpture I discovered , from the Tang dynasty, was called Buddha, probably Amitabha. It was made out of hollow dry lacquer with traces of gilt and polychrome pigments . They are both privileged and customary monuments of each individual culture . The Asmat people of the southwest New Guinea believed that no death was accidental . It was assumed that an enemy always caused each death through either headhunting raids or sorcery . There was no such thing as death being the result of an accident or aging . Each death created an imbalance that had to be corrected through the death of an enemy . The Asmat honored their dead with various feasts and rituals. The creation and erection of bis poles were central to these feasts and rituals . Each bis pole is carved in one piece from a single inverted mangrove tree . At the feasts, they honor the
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individuals who have died recently and become ancestors . They were a means of requesting farewell to the deceased and , at the same time, promising revenge for their deaths . They both honored the deceased and reminded the living to avenge their deaths. The tall bis poles are one of the most impressive sculptures of the Asmat people
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AR104 Museum Paper - Caitlin McGowan AR104 Section B...

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