bisj pole

bisj pole
Carved wooden pole used in the religious rites of the South Pacific islands.

The poles, 12–26 ft (4–8 m) tall, resemble an upended canoe with an exaggerated prow; they consist of carved figures placed one atop the other (thought to represent deceased ancestors) and terminate in a flat projection of ornate, openwork ornament. They are intended to harbour the souls of the dead, keeping them away from the village, and are also used to transmit magical powers. See also totem pole.

* * *

▪ religious carving
also spelled  Bis Pole,  

      carved wooden pole used in religious rites of the South Pacific Islands. Bisj poles are occasionally found in North America, but they are more common in New Zealand, Vanuatu (formerly the New Hebrides), and especially the Asmat area in southwestern (Indonesian) New Guinea and along the Casuarinan coast. The design of the poles—which range from 12 to 26 feet (3.7 to 7.9 m) in height and consist of carved figures, thought to represent clan ancestors who were killed by enemies, placed one on top of the other—derives from the squatting figure motif, one of the germinal-figural forms in Oceanic art. The complex series of figures terminates in an ornate, openwork ornament fashioned from a flat root projection left on the trunk when the tree is felled. The complex religious significance and symbolism associated with bisj poles is reflected in the ceremony surrounding their creation. In the Asmat area, for example, the mangrove tree, representing the enemy, is ceremonially stalked and cut down. As the bark is stripped from the trunk and red sap seeps from the white wood, the Asmat is reminded of the conquered warrior's blood.

      The bisj pole has been interpreted as another form of the “soul ship,” a large ceremonial dugout canoe filled with carved figures said to possess special powers. The ships are intended to carry the souls of the recently dead away from the villages and to impart magical powers to novices during initiation rites. The rituals surrounding bisj poles show that they, too, are intended to harbour souls of the dead, keeping them away from the village; and in appearance they resemble an upended canoe with an exaggerated prow and a dwarfed shell. Like the soul ships, bisj poles are also used to transmit magical powers—in this case to the palms in the sago swamps, where they are disposed of after ceremonies associated with the ancestor cult.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужен реферат?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bisj Pole — A Bisj Pole, or Bis Pole, is a ritual artifact used by the Asmat people of south western New Guinea. Objects similar to Bisj Poles are found among many peoples of the South Pacific islands in New Zealand, and on Vanuatu.Carved out of a single… …   Wikipedia

  • pole — pole1 poleless, adj. /pohl/, n., v., poled, poling. n. 1. a long, cylindrical, often slender piece of wood, metal, etc.: a telephone pole; a fishing pole. 2. Northeastern U.S. a long, tapering piece of wood or other material that extends from the …   Universalium

  • Pole — /pohl/, n. a native or inhabitant of Poland. /pohl/, n. Reginald, 1500 58, English cardinal and last Roman Catholic archbishop of Canterbury. * * * (as used in expressions) bisj pole North Pole pole construction pole vault Pole Reginald South… …   Universalium

  • art and architecture, Oceanic — ▪ visual arts Introduction       the visual art (art) and architecture of native Oceania, including media such as sculpture, pottery, rock art, basketry, masks, painting, and personal decoration. In these cultures, art and architecture have often …   Universalium

  • List of Indonesia-related topics — This is a list of topics related to Indonesia. Those interested in the subject can monitor changes to the pages by clicking on Related changes ( alt k ) in the sidebar.This list can re read in conjunction with List of basic Indonesia topics… …   Wikipedia

  • Индонезийско-малайско-русская практическая транскрипция — Для передачи индонезийских и малайских имён и названий на русский язык используются правила практической транскрипции. Ниже приведены рекомендации, содержащиеся, в основном, в справочнике «Русская транскрипция для языков зарубежного востока», с… …   Википедия

  • Oceanic arts — Literary, performing, and visual arts of the Pacific islands of Oceania, including Australia as well as Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia. Their isolation and wide range of environmental conditions led to the development of a rich variety of… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”