Nganguasimai (Tribal pole)
This work features a woman from the Highland in full tribal attire, with a traditional bone piercing through the nose, a crocodile also featured on the opposite side to the tribal woman's carving. Bernard's tribal area in Papua New Guinea has taken the crocodile as its symbol. He carves one into any sculpture he does, whether it is big or small. He believes the authenticity and passion his community hold for their arts, can be seen through the tribal symbol that has been carved.
|Materials||Tōtara, on concrete.|
|Artist||Bernard Kamboi of Papua New Guinea|
|Definition of Name||Tribal Pole - art work pole, located in or drawing inspiration from a tribal settlement or area|
|Definition Interpretation||Carved pole, drawing inspiration from Papua New Guinea and it's tribal settlements.|
The material used for this piece is Tōtara. The log used for this Talking Pole was donated by the Te Putahitanga O Nga Ara Trust.
Tōtara wood is red, straight-grained and easy to work; although rather brittle, it is one of the most durable timbers known. In the early days of European settlement Tōtara was used extensively for house piles, house frames and for fence posts. Being resistant to teredo worm, it was also used in the piling of many early wharves.
To the Māori people the Tōtara was a symbol of strength and goodness. From these trees they made their canoes and their carved whare whākairo, pātaka and food boxes. The bark was used for thatching and for making storage vessels.
My name is Bernard Kamboi and I am from a village on the banks of the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea. My home is now Wewak in the East Sepik Province, where I live with my wife and four children. All my family are carvers from the village of Tambunam, which is famous for its very fine carving style. Like my brothers and cousins, I started to carve as a boy, watching my father and the men of the village. Carving poles is something I am very familiar with as every clan in the Sepik has its own post where all the decisions of the village are made. Every clan has its own spirit pole which shows the history and ancestral spirits belonging to that clan. I have been to school to Grade 6 and have travelled to other parts of Papua New Guinea where I have carved. This is my first time outside Papua New Guinea. Carving in New Zealand is a once in a lifetime experience that is beyond any of my dreams and expectations in life.
Bernard was one of our highly valued international artists in the 2004 Symposium.