Lot: 34

85th Tribal Art Auction

Large drum, around 1880

Papua New Guinea - Lake Sentani

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Edith Hafter, Solothurn, Switzerland H: 33.9 inch 8000 EUR
plus 21 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, black pigment, encrusted in some areas, drum skin from animal hide, fixed by rattan ring, which is densely wrapped with strips from bark cloth, hourglass-shaped corpus flatly carved with two spirit beings with overlong tube-like arms, notched ornaments in upper area, massive handle, slightly dam., minor missing parts, abrasion of paint/traces of usage (handle); these superb large drums belonged to "ondoforo" and were given individual names. The sound of the drum beat was the voice of the ancestor spirit with whom the drum was connected. The decorative band carved around the middle represents the protective waist-belt worn by the "ondoforo". When not in use the drums were kept in the chiefly house.

Meyer, Anthony J.P., Ozeanische Kunst, Vol. I, Köln 1995, p. 71