Spirit Chair – Papua New Guinea

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So, a chair is basically something to sit on, right? Well actually, there is so much more to chairs than just that.

There’s a chair for every occasion, but apart from the myriad different everyday chairs you’ll find around the world, you’ll also find more special ones, charged with heavy cultural meanings – like this one!

spirit chair

Only one can sit on this chair – the most important ancestor spirit of the village, who protects the villagers, supervises ceremonies, and settles disputes. When a man presents his case for other men in the ceremonial house, he will strike the chair with a pile of palm leaves, to achieve the ancestor spirit’s blessing in laying out his arguments. Rumour has it that these disputes can go on for hours on end, so maybe that’s why the villagers though it best to provide the spirit with a nice little chair.

// Emma Louise Pedersen



Photo: © 2014 Jacob Due, Photo/Media Department of Moesgaard Museum.

Byline portrait: © 2015 Line Beck, lbmfotografi.wix.com

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putting thought to things

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