Dance ornament

Production date
Pre 1975
Papua New Guinea
East New Britain
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Object detail

Register description: Dance Ornament: wood, handle at base carved and painted, blue, white, yellow, green and black; collar of leaves above handle; feathers at top and on body L1372mm
CH classification INDIGENOUS CULTURES Melanesian & South Sea Islander dance ornament
Production date
Pre 1975
L.1372 mm
Media/Materials description
Painted wood, plant fibre, feathers
History and use
Painted wooden wands such as this are carried by the Tolai people of East New Britain during dances and ceremonial performances. The dance wands form one part of the Tolai ceremonial paraphernalia that is collectively known as pokopoko. When in use the wands are given the name bair and are carried one in each in each hand by male performers. Most bair have serrated edges and attached feathers. This example also contains a collar of ferns near the base.

This dance wand was collected in Port Moresby in September 1975. It was carried by a Tolai dancer during the celebrations that took place to mark Papua New Guinea’s independence.
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