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Images from The Beede Gallery

Natural Trumpet (Towel), Sepik River Region, Papua New Guinea, 1970

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NMM 7287.  Trumpet, Sepik River Region, Papua New Guinea, 1970 Trumpet, Side View 1 Trumpet, Side View 2 Back of trumpet

NMM 7287. Natural trumpet (towel), Sepik Region, Papua New Guinea, 1970. Side-blown, wooden, natural trumpet. Human head with cowry-shell eyes carved above embouchure hole. Body decorated with carved, curvilinear designs, ovals, and arrows. The head may symbolically represent the tradition of head-hunting, which was once practiced in the Sepik region. This tradition, which involved the ritual removal and decoration of an enemy’s head, was part of a complex system of ideologies and often associated with the male initiation process. When head-hunting was outlawed—in some places as recently as the 1950s—many indigenous groups began carving representations of the ritual instead. Length: 73.7 cm (29"). Joe R. and Joella F. Utley Collection, 1999.

Carved Head, Embouchure Hole, Ornamentation, and Interior View

Carved head on trumpet Embouchure hole Decorative Carving Interior view

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