Dance Drum
Iatmul, Sepik River Region, Papua New Guinea, early 20th C. PROVENANCE: Collected by Ben Brillo in the 1960's.

Drums are used in dance and theatrical performances by the Iatmul. The drum, as a tool used for ancestor worship, is heavily decorated to reflect such importance. Four spirit faces are carved into the body of the drum on both the top and bottom. The drum's handle is also embellished with spirit faces. However these differ from the faces on the body of the drum, as they are more 3D in design and take on a mask like quality. The faces are extremely expressive, with great care taken to define the facial features and ears. Sea shells are used as inlays for the eyes. The banded center of the drum is adorned with a repeated diamond pattern. Holes are visible, which would have been used to hang attachments and other ceremonially significant ornamentations. A beautiful patina covers the entire drum, and is especially noticeable on the handle, suggesting heavy use. The original skin is still attached to the top of the drum. The skin used was most likely snake, and the color and texture of the scales is still visible. Height: 32 1/4" in.
IN 12-8-13 / SOLD