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Stopper for a Lime Container in the Form of a Bird

Arts of the Pacific Islands

Long, transverse bamboo flutes are used throughout the Sepik region. They are usually played in pairs by men and are used in a ritual context reserved for fully initiated men. The most important rituals are accompanied by flute melodies that represent the voices of mythical birds and, through them, certain incarnations of ancestors. The flutes are decorated on the upper ends with carved stoppers, which in turn are further decorated with brightly colored leaves and feathers.
MEDIUM Wood, clay, pigment, fiber, shell
DATES 19th century
DIMENSIONS 14 1/2 x 2 3/4 x 1 1/8 in. (36.8 x 7 x 2.9 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alastair B. Martin, the Guennol Collection
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION An ornamental stopper carved in the form of a bird and painted red and white. It was probably used as a stopper for a flute. It has a number 6960 on its base. Condition: Good, but there is some cracking of paint near the top of the crest.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Iatmul. Stopper for a Lime Container in the Form of a Bird, 19th century. Wood, clay, pigment, fiber, shell, 14 1/2 x 2 3/4 x 1 1/8 in. (36.8 x 7 x 2.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alastair B. Martin, the Guennol Collection, 51.197.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 51.197.1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 51.197.1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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