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Registration Number: QE11465

Name or Title: Dance Headdress - Aircraft

Classification: CH classification INDIGENOUS CULTURES Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander head ornament

Brief Description: Dance headdress - aeroplane, WWII U.S.A.A.F. bomber. Fuselage, wings and tail carved from beach hibiscus wood WAPAD, fabricated with nails and epoxy-resin adhesive. Propellers cut from aluminium soft drink cans; fore- and aft gun turrets cut from scrap metal guttering. Cotton bud sticks represent machine guns. Painted dark green enamel with white USAAF markings. Headpiece modified from flour tin, tin-plate. frame attached with tie wire. Painted with blue, black, red and white enamel with superimposed US stars and stripes ensign. The head dress uses green, white, red and blue paint.

Collection: Oceanic Anthropology

Production Place: Australia

Production Date: 01 Jan 1988-31 Dec 1988

Materials: Metal, wood

Measurement : L562 x W665 x H331mm

State/Province: Queensland

Country: Australia

History and Use: This dance headdress was made by James Eseli, a Torres Strait Islander.

Dance is the most visible expression of Torres Strait Islander culture. It is a serious activity, offering prestige and standing. Dance is one part of a story. Sometimes, stories can take days to tell.

Torres Strait Island dance, Ailan Dans, is energetic, and derived from traditional ceremonial dance and Pacific Island dance introduced by South Sea Islander mission teachers.

New dance songs continue to be composed and older songs are updated with new choreography. Today, most dances are performed at community events, cultural festivals such as the Coming of The Light, or at the dedication of tombstones.

This object can be viewed in Dandiiri Maiwar, on level 4 of the Queensland Museum Southbank.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

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