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Wooden pig, Papua New Guinea, pre-1918

Papua New Guinea is in the Pacific Ocean, north of Australia. This wooden pig was carved there, sometime before 1918. It has a zig-zag pattern on either side filled with lime, but the tail has been broken and the wood has cracked since it was made.

The wood carver was from the Massim tribe, whose home is Milne Bay on Trobriand Island. The Trobriand Islands lie east of New Guinea’s capital city, Port Moresby, in the Solomon Sea. When the pig was made, the outside world knew very little about the islanders of Papua New Guinea. Most lived in small villages and were unknown to Europeans before the 1930s.

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