Slit drum (Garamut) with drum stick
Papua New Guinea
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Drum stick: L 270 x W 20 mm
Both the drum and the drum stick are decorated with human figures, who represent ancestors. The long hooked noses of the figures and the tiered head-dresses are characteristic elements of Sepik carving. Each clan or region would have slightly varying designs for the ancestor figures.
Seen as more than just an instrument, garamut are used to announce meetings and warnings and communicate with both individuals and neighbouring villages. They would also convey messages of life, death and even voice mythical stories to the community.
This object was collected by donor Peter Watt in 1990 and donated to the Museum of Tropical Queensland in 2012.