Penis sheath "Koteka"

180 €

Dani-people, Baliem Valley, Western New Guinea, Indonesia, 20th century.

The Dani (called also Ndani) are a people from central highlands of Western New Guinea (the Indonesian province of Papua). They are one of the most populous tribes in the highlands, with related ethnic groups Yali and Lani, and are found spread out through the highlands and in the Baliem Valley area, where they predominate.

The Dani remained unknown to outside world until the 1930's. Daily life for the Dani people has included tools that have traditionally been made of stone, bone, pig tusk, wood and bamboo. Stone used to make axes. By the 1980's, cloth, metal axes, knives and shovels were widely used. The Dani traditionally had no pottery or cloth, even bark cloth. Material for skirts and nets were obtained from the bark of trees. Containers were made from gourds.

Dani men go around naked except for a Koteka, commonly referred to as penis sheath, and occasionally some bird of paradise feathers, cowry shell, pig tusks or a hair net as a ornament. The penis sheaths, made of dried gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) are kept erect with thread that is attached to the top and looped around the waist.

The size of this aged and large Koteka is approx. 34cm x 7,5cm. Good condition. Signs of wear and use. Newer thread. Ex-collections of the closed museum/foundation from the Netherlands.