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Images from The Beede Gallery

Bullroarer, Papua New Guinea, 20th Century

NMM 2374. Bullroarer, Papua New Guinea, 20th century
Back of bullroarer

NMM 2374. Bullroarer, Papua New Guinea, 20th century. Elongated wooden disk with red-and-white symmetrical painting. Long string tied to painted end through small hole at top. The player whirls the instrument in a circle around his head, like a lasso, creating a thunderous, roaring sound. The smaller the size and the faster the whirl, the higher the pitch. Bullroarers, found throughout New Guinea, are believed to re-create voices of the spirits. They are sacred instruments, traditionally played by men during initiation ceremonies. Length: 35.5 cm (ca. 14"). Board of Trustees, 1978.


Painting on Bullroarer

Painting on bullroarer

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