Old Drum Kamoro People Mimika West Papua Irian Jaya Indonesia
This very old and beautiful drum is from the remote Eastern Mimika area on the South Coast of West Papua Irian Jaya in Indonesia. Carved from a single piece of wood these hour glass shaped drums are called Eme in the Kamoro language. The drum has a carved section of designs in high relief, the design is a highly stylised ancestor figure. The figure is similar to the more well known Yamate Boards which are two dimensional ancestor figures. The drum has a very deep old shiny patina overall.
I spent a lot of time in the Kamoro / Mimika and Asmat regions in the early 1980’s and drums of this quality were rare. People in the village were not interested in selling their old drums.
Many of the artworks I field collected then are now in major museum collections around the world including The Musee du Quai Branly Museum in Paris, when you walk into the Oceanic Art Pavilion at The Musee du Quai Branly the first thing you see are the monumental ancestor poles from the Asmat & Mimika along with Dance Costumes Shields and large Soul Canoe , all of these were field collected by me. Originally they were in an exhibition ” Asmat et Mimika at The National Museum of African and Oceanic Art in 1996 (now that museum is part of The Musee du Quai Branly). The exhibition the Asmat and Mimika in 1996 was published in the prestigious Louvre Museum Magazine see the link below and a photo of the exhibition above.
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