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National Museum of Australia

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Ink drawing of Evil Spirits (1974) by Akis

2009.0028.0001

Ink drawing of Evil Spirits (1974) by Akis

Object information

Physical description

A black ink drawing depicting three figures outlined in heavy black lines with zigzag patterns to their bodies and limbs. The figures all have their teeth bared and are wearing large headdresses. The artwork is signed 'Akis / 1974' in the lower left hand corner and in the lower right hand corner, 'A.172' is written in pencil.

Statement of significance

This collection consists of a carved shield typical of the Bismark Schrader region of Papua New Guinea, a signed and numbered print of the work Evil Spirits (1974) by the PNG artist Akis, and an image of the sun, trees and animals in beaten brass, by another significant PNG artist, Matthias Kauage. All of these objects were purchased by Ken and Amirah Inglis during their time in Papua New Guinea when Ken was foundation professor of history and later Vice Chancellor of the University of Papua New Guinea.

Australia was associated with the administration of Papua New Guinea as early as 1887, until its independence in 1975. In the 1960s the Australian administrative focus shifted from the economic to the political development of PNG, and steps toward independence began. One of these steps was the establishment of the University of Papua New Guinea in 1966, which trained many of the key identities in independent Papua New Guinea, and fostered an indigenous contemporary writing and arts movement. Its first professors - Australian academics Ken Inglis, Charles Rowley and Ralph Blumer - "were scholars of vision who attracted keen lecturers who devised imaginative programs."

Object information

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