National Music Museum Logo   National Music Museum  
Home  Collections
Virtual Tour
Calendar Gift Shop FAQ Site Index Maker Index

 

Pair of Bamboo Flutes, Papua New Guinea, 1940s

Click on images below to see larger images

NMM 7436

NMM 7436.  Bamboo flute, Papua New Guinea, ca. 1940s
NMM 7436.  Bamboo flute, Papua New Guinea, ca. 1940s

NMM 7437

NMM 7437.  Bamboo flute, Papua New Guinea, ca. 1940s
NMM 7437.  Bamboo flute, Papua New Guinea, ca. 1940s
NMM 7437.  Bamboo flute, Papua New Guinea, ca. 1940s

NMM 7436-7437. Pair of bamboo flutes, Papua New Guinea, ca. 1940s. The larger flute (NMM 7437) is the "male;" the smaller (NMM 7436), the "female." Embouchure hole near the closed, pronged end. Geometric patterns burned into bamboo. A fundamental pitch is produced by blowing across the embouchure hole. Additional pitches can be played by overblowing or by covering the open end with a finger or palm. Throughout Papua New Guinea, paired flutes are an integral part of boys’ initiation ceremonies. Because of their highly sacred function, which is to represent the voices of spirits or ancestors, women are traditionally not allowed to see, hear, or play them. Length of 7436: 28.6 cm (11-1/4"). Length of 7437: 32.2 cm (about 12-1/2"). Gift of Robert F. Cole, Montello, Wisconsin, 1998.



Decorative Details

Symbolic protrusion on NMM 7437
Decoration on upper portion of NMM 7436
Decoration on upper portion of NMM 7436

Peg on NMM 7437

Upper end of NMM 7436

Lower end of NMM 7436

This pair of flutes was acquired by a friend of the donor who served in New Guinea during W. W. II. This serviceman, who witnessed similar flutes being played with drums in a native ritual ceremony, traded razors with the natives to acquire this particular pair.

Go to Annotated Checklist of Musical Instruments From Oceania on Display at the NMM

National Music Museum
The University of South Dakota
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD   57069

©National Music Museum, 2008-2010
Most recent update:   October 9, 2010

The University of South Dakota
Return to Top of Page