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Orator Stools

Among the most revered and sacred objects of the Iatmul people, Orators stools are the pulpits from where important speeches and debates are delivered. Each village would have such a chair standing at the center of the menís house.

As a speaker approaches to use the stool, he picks up a bundle of leaves that are arranged on its seat. Timing his actions to his words, he delivers his speech while replacing the leaves one by one. As the last leaf is replaced, his speech will end.

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Fig. 44:
Oratorís Stool,
Iatmul Province,
Wood, shells, 48Ē
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Fig. 46:
Oratorís Stool,
Korogo Village, Middle Sepik,
Wood, shells, clay, cus cus tail,
palm leaves & grasses, 74Ē
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Photography: Marc Assayag
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