Sepik River

River, northeastern New Guinea.

It enters the Bismarck Sea through a delta about 700 mi (1,100 km) from its source in the central highlands. Because of the amount of sediment it carries, it discolours the waters for 20 mi (32 km) beyond its mouth, which is more than 1 mi (1.6 km) wide. It is navigable by shallow-draft vessels for more than 300 mi (483 km). The river's small tribal groups have extensive artistic traditions, known as the Sepik River style.

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formerly  Kaiserin Augusta  

      one of the largest rivers on the island of New Guinea, southwestern Pacific Ocean. It rises in the Victor Emanuel Range of the central highlands of Papua New Guinea, near Telefomin. The Sepik flows northwestward (crossing just over the border into the Indonesian portion of the island) and then, turning east, follows the great Central Depression, receiving numerous tributaries draining from the Bewani and Torricelli mountains (north) and the Central Range (south) before entering the Bismarck Sea through a delta about 700 miles (1,100 km) from its source. It drains an area of some 30,000 square miles (77,700 square km). For most of its lower course the river meanders through a wilderness of sago and nipa palm swamp and lagoons with large floating islands of vegetation drifting in the channel. The amount of sediment carried down this channel is so great that the waters of the ocean are discoloured for 20 miles (32 km) beyond the mouth, which is more than 1 mile (1.6 km) wide. The river is navigable for more than 300 miles (480 km) by vessels drawing 13 feet (4 metres) of water or less, and by canoe for some 550 miles (900 km).

      There are no settlements of great size along the Sepik; Angoram is the largest, and the entire lower basin is sparsely populated. The isolation of the river's small tribal groups, including the Arapesh, Iatmul, and Biwat (Mundugumor), from external influences has given rise to one of the most original and extensive artistic traditions in Oceania. Characterized by the term Sepik River style, the ornamentation of household and cult objects, weapons, musical instruments, houses (high-gabled with decorated house posts), and canoe prows is highly developed. Masks and sculpture are characterized by a “hooked,” or “beaked,” style, with an elongation of the nose, and there is also a tradition of modeling faces in clay on human skulls. These arts are most fully developed in the lower reaches of the river and in adjacent areas of the lower Ramu River.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sepik River — Vorlage:Infobox Fluss/DGWK fehltVorlage:Infobox Fluss/QUELLE fehltVorlage:Infobox Fluss/ABFLUSS altVorlage:Infobox Fluss/ABFLUSS fehltVorlage:Infobox Fluss/KARTE fehlt Sepik Lage des Sepik …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sepik River (Neu Guinea) — Vorlage:Infobox Fluss/DGWK fehltVorlage:Infobox Fluss/QUELLE fehltVorlage:Infobox Fluss/ABFLUSS altVorlage:Infobox Fluss/ABFLUSS fehltVorlage:Infobox Fluss/KARTE fehlt Sepik Lage des Sepik …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sepik (disambiguation) — Sepik may refer to places in Papua New Guinea:*Sepik River *East Sepik a province *Sandaun a province formerly known as West Sepik *Sepik region consisting of East Sepik and Sandaun provincesIn languages it may refer to:*Sepik languages a… …   Wikipedia

  • Sepik — Geobox River name = Sepik map caption = Location of the Sepik River country = Papua New Guinea country1 = Indonesia region = Sandaun region1 = Papua region2 = East Sepik length = 1126 length round = 0 length note = watershed = 80321 watershed… …   Wikipedia

  • Sepik languages — Infobox Language family name=Sepik region=New Guinea familycolor=Papuan family=a primary family of Papuan languages child1=Walio child2=Biksi child3=Upper Sepik child4=Ram child5=Tama child6=Yellow River child7=Middle Sepik child8=Sepik HillThe… …   Wikipedia

  • Sepik — 3° 50′ 32″ S 144° 32′ 20″ E / 3.84233, 144.539 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • river — river1 riverless, adj. riverlike, adj. /riv euhr/, n. 1. a natural stream of water of fairly large size flowing in a definite course or channel or series of diverging and converging channels. 2. a similar stream of something other than water: a… …   Universalium

  • Sepik-Ramu languages — The Sepik Ramu languages are a hypothetical language family linking the Sepik, Ramu, Nor Pondo (Lower Sepik), Leonhard Schultze (Walio Papi), and Yuat families, together with the Taiap language isolate, and proposed by Donald Laycock in 1973. All …   Wikipedia

  • Sepik — geographical name river 600 miles (966 kilometers) N Papua New Guinea …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Sepik — Se·pik (sāʹpĭk) A river, about 1,126 km (700 mi) long, of northern Papua New Guinea. * * * …   Universalium

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