Description & Technical information

A very fine, and rare form of dance wand representing a masked, female, tubuan dancer. Both the tubuan and the male dukduk spirit figures are represented by a conical mask that covers the dancer's body, but the male mask is without the facial features. The tubuan and dukduk spirits were the property of the Big Men as well as belonging to specific clans - a group of common matrilineal descent. The two spirits were called out to appear on three main occasions : vunavuna, Big Man funeral ceremonies; balaguan, a series of dances related to an ancestral commemoration ceremony; and matamatam, a mortuary ceremony held by the clan for all its ancestors. Dance wands of this type were carried by dancers as mirror images of themselves.

Tolai People (Gunantuna), Gazelle Peninsula, New Britain, Bismarck Archipelago, PNG, Melanesia.

Period:  19th/20th century
Origin:  Melanesia
Medium: Wood (Alstonia ?) pigments, cuscus skin and iron
Dimensions: 35.2 x 13.3 x 2.4 cm (13⁷/₈ x 5¹/₄ x 1 inches)
Provenance: Ex coll. : Ian Still, Brisbane; Galerie Meyer Oceanic Art, Paris; Josep Pons-Olivera, Barcelona; Private Collection, Paris.
Literature: Meyer, Anthony JP.: OCEANIE/OCEANIA N° 9. Catalogue d'exposition. Galerie Meyer, Paris. 1991, fig. 2.
Meyer, Anthony JP: OCEANIC ART / OZEANISCHE KUNST / ART OCEANIEN. Könemann Verlag, Köln. 1995, page 362, fig. 396.
Flubacher, Christian (Ed.) : Un air de famille. Fondation Pierre Arnaud, Lens, Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern, 2014, p. 191.
Exhibitions: Exhibited : Un air de famille. Fondation Pierre Arnaud, Lens. 13 juin 2014 — 5 octobre 2014.

Categories: Works of Art