Bisj poles, sculptures from the rainforest
  • Share :


Camera, compilation and editing: Miranda van der Spek
Commissioned by Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam (www.tropenmuseum.nl )


A video compilation (10’ ) about the exhibition Bisj poles from New Guinea, in Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam. The Bisj ceremonies, still performed today, are brought to life in a thrilling combination of light, sound and film.

The bisj poles, some more than 12 meters high, are made by the Asmat people from the Indonesian province of Papua (the former Dutch New Guinea). They are used during Bisj ceremonies, which are held to commemorate deceased members of the community. Each pole has its own powers of expression and symbolism, and every sculpture mirrors the world view of the Asmat.