The Asmats make bowls for practical and ceremonial purposes. Bowls are often shaped like canoes, with one end of the bowl usually decorated with the head of an ancestor to empower the owner. The carver of this bowl has skillfully added arms that hang prominently off the bowl’s rim, turning an utilitarian object into a figurative sculpture worthy of ceremony. The back of the bowl is a lattice work of symbols carved in relief, similar to those found on war shields. The bowl has acquired a smooth patina from years of use. This object formerly belonged to the artist/photographer, Frans van Riels (1907-1988).