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Gope Board: Papuan Gulf, Papua New GuineaArtist: Billy Yirawala

Middle Sepik River New Guinea Sacred Flute Stopper
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Middle Sepik River New Guinea Sacred Flute Stopper

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Middle Sepik River New Guinea Sacred Flute Stopper

Beautiful example of a Middle Sepik River sacred flute stopper collected in the 1950s  Flutes in this area were used for initiation and other rites and are considered the most culturally important musical instruments. The sacred flutes were made from long sections of bamboo up to 2m long and blown at right angles to the length of the bamboo across a hole near the head. The tops of side-blown flutes were frequently sealed with ornamental flute stoppers like this one, that stays in place while the flute is being played.

Extract from “ Living Spirits of Fixed Abodes: The Masterpeices Exhibition, Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery”

“Sacred flutes are clan property, kept in the men's cult house. They are invariably made of bamboo and are side blown. Each with a different but complimentary note. They are played in pairs, sometimes several pairs of flutes are played, a continuous melody can be constructed.  The sounds are believed to be the voices of certain spirits whose names are given to the flutes.  The flutes have wooden stoppers at the proximal end carved in the form of animals, birds or humans representing clan totems or ancestors. “  

Height 52cm  includes custom made metal base plate 

$590 AUD

Last Updated: Sunday, 18 February 2018 18:15