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A Superb Old New Guinea Bullroarer Elema People Orokolo Bay Papuan Gulf Area Papua New Guinea

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Collection No. TB-3820
Size 54cm
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New Guinea Oceanic Art
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This Superb Old Bullroarer is from the Elema People of Orokolo Bay in the Papuan Gulf Area of Papua New Guinea Dating from the late 19th Century 

Bullroarers are a type of musical instrument that when tied to a string a swung around and around quickly produce an otherworldly sound that is thought to be the voices of powerful ancestral spirits. They are used during important ceremonies inside the sacred men’s Ceremonial Houses where they are never seen by women or the uninitiated.

Finely carved with Ancestral Spirits just like the better-known Gope Spirit Boards from the same area. The Elema People or Orokolo Bay produced some of the strongest artworks in the whole Papuan Gulf Area. These are the finest examples I have ever owned.

These figures represent powerful ancestral spirits called Imunu that dwell in the bush and isolated swamps. Imunu representing these spirits in their visible form is originally used to cajole or coax supernatural beings into attending to human needs and protection.

In the past, the primary focus of religious and artistic life in this region was based on these powerful spirits called Imunu.  Each clan had specific imunu Spirits that were associated with a specific location in the landscape, rivers, or sea, and was linked to the specific clan.

Papuan Gulf wood sculpture was primarily two-dimensional, consisting of board-like carvings, known as Gope or spirit boards, and figures with designs in low relief, like this fine example.

Bullroarer use in other cultures goes back to Ancient Greece where it was a sacred instrument used in the Dionysian Mysteries, it is also used by the ancient cultures of Australian Aboriginal People in their traditional ceremonies

Provenance: The Todd Barlin Collection of  New Guinea Oceanic Art

See my new EXHIBITIONS GALLERY  showing the Museums and Art Galleries Exhibitions that I provided artworks for over the past 40 years. There is the link to the article about my artworks published in the prestigious Louvre Magazine in 1996

I have artwork for Museums and art Galleries but also for collectors at every stage of their collecting. I want to encourage people to explore the fine art of New Guinea & West Papua and the Pacific Islands and to be able to see and touch the artworks in a relaxed and friendly manner in my Sydney Gallery. I would like to invite you to visit my gallery and see the artworks in person and also look at my website www.oceanicartsaustralia.com where there are many Galleries & Sub Galleries to explore.

My Gallery of nearly 40 years is the last physical gallery in Sydney that specializes in New Guinea and Oceanic Art.  Sydney is very close to New Guinea & the Pacific Islands where all of these amazing artworks came from, Australia’s closest neighbors.


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