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Slit drum, Ambrym Island, Vanuatu

Item number : 2205182

Price :

11 000.00 € VAT excl.
( Price vat incl.11 385.00 € )

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Description

Large slit drum from the Ambrym Island ( Vanuatu archipelago) carved in a single trunk tree, mounted with a single head carved into a crescent, adorned with three serrated row ending by two spirals on the chest. Two large disc-shaped eyes as well as a large nose decorated the face. 

"In Vanuatu, a slit drum is a musical instrument that is traditionally played by men of high rank.
In most islands of Vanuatu, the drum has little to no decoration, and is played horizontally on the ground. On the island of Ambrym though, such drums stand vertically on the ground; they are decorated with one or several faces with disk eyes, representing ancestral figures, such a figure is called a tamtam.The distinctive shape of these Ambrym drums has made them iconic of Vanuatu as a whole; they are frequently found in museums around the world, and represented on Vanuatu banknotes.

Slit drums, whether decorated or not, have a significance to Vanuatu's traditional economy and society: they can be a sign of a man's wealth and social status within the political system of graded societies.The drums are sometimes found at ceremonial dance grounds and other gathering places.

They have been used for dance rhythms, but also for signalling purposes. A tamtam is said to hold spirits, some good, some bad, and are often posted upright at the perimeter of a property or outside a house as protection.”

Source : wiki

Similar example
National Gallery of Victoria, Art Journal Edition 43, Judith Ryan, Senior Curator Indigenous Art, Tam Tam Slit-drum

Custom wooden box
Dimensions : length 305 cm x height  57,5 cm x width 61,5 cm
Weight : +- 300 kg 
The custom metal base comes with an another wooden box. 
Special transportation is required for this item, please contact us at info@weart.com for more details. 

  • Origin
    New Hebrides
  • Region, Province, City
    Ambrym Island
  • Date
      • Early
      • 20th
      • Century
  • Material
    Wood
  • Publications and exhibitions of the object
    Exhibited at the Cinquantenaire Museum (M.R.A.H.) during the exhibition titled "Oceania Travels through the immensity" from 26-10-2017 to 29-04-2018
  • Height (cm)
    295
  • Stand
    Custom metal base
  • Bibliographic references

    • Ethnology of Vanuatu, An early twentieth century study, Felix Speiser, University of Hawai'i Press, Honolulu, 1996 ( English translation of the original 1923 version), pp. 348, 376 - pl.105, 109

    • Jean Guiart, Océanie, Collection L'univers des formes, Editions Gallimard, 1963, pp. 229, 230 - pl. 213, 214

  • Provenance
    Ex. collection of the artist Jef Van Turenhout (1926 - 2006), acquired in Bruxelles in the 1970s.

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