I have just read a most fascinating book which may explain something that has always puzzled me. Why are the colours most commonly found in old tribal art red, white and black? I had noticed this before and put it down to the fact that these pigments were the easiest to obtain – black from charcoal, white from crushed lime or clay and red from ochres, but this startling book called “Through the Language Glass -  why the world looks different in other languages”,  by Guy Deutscher, prese Continue reading...

Q: When does an exhibition catalogue become a reference book? A: When it is as lavishly photographed and opulently printed as this one is. “Archipel Bismarck” is  an exhibition of more than 120 outstanding objects sourced throughout the  PNG archipelago named after the old German Iron Chancellor.  It is  currently showing at Gallery Voyageurs and Curieux in Paris where  Jean Eduard Carlier puts together one of these block buster exhibitions every  year. For the past few years, they h Continue reading...

The karawut (sometimes written karahut or kara’ut) is a unique body adornment of the Abelam people who live north of the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea. It consists of a human body shape which is finger knotted in hand rolled  bush string and which is two dimensional, except for the protruding nose (or sometimes the complete face). There is also a long string attached to the back to enable; it to be worn around the neck. The basic flat shape is edged with a border of nasa shell beads – v Continue reading...

Bedu plank masks are among the most striking and impressive of all African masks, both because of the abstract geometric boldness of their design and their impressive size - they are up to 12 feet or 4 metres in height and are possibly the tallest masks in Africa (though not as tall as the towering Baining pole masks of PNG, which may be up to two stories tall).The Bedu masquerade is often described in museum catalogues as a new cult which arose  in the 1930s, but this is an incorrect  assump Continue reading...

    Most of us are familiar with the elegant and refined stone objects produced by prehistoric populations in New Guinea, particularly the bird and animal shaped pestles and stone mortars such as the Ambum stone in the Australian National Gallery, which has been carbon dated to approximately 3,500 years BP.Not all New Guinea stone objects are this old, however, since the production of stone axe and club heads were important industries well into the 20th century. There were many qu Continue reading...

The Australian Museum is Australia’s oldest and owns the biggest collection of Pacific artifacts in the Southern hemisphere, with the emphasis on Melanesia. Sadly none of this incredible collection is on permanent display, but we do get to view some of its treasures from time to time through temporary exhibitions such as last year’s amazing Birds of Paradise exhibition, which linked the birds and the people of the New Guinea Highlands, and through special foyer displays such as Spirit Faces Continue reading...

One of the best known of these  is Michael Parekowhai, who shows no fear in combining Maori carving traditions with Greek myth and British literary references.   What I love most about this piano is the fact that it comes out of a great Maori tradition of taking imported icons and transforming them into Maori works of art  by embellishing them with traditional carving. I have seen wooden rifle butts , smoking pipes, knife handles and other western objects transformed in this way, so why not Continue reading...

  How to milk a coconut. The fresh green coconut (the soft white flesh that lines the shell, not the clear “coconut water” at the centre) is the primary source of fat in the daily diet of almost all tribal peoples living in the coastal tropics, from Zanzibar to Micronesia and Kerala to the Philippines. It is prepared by grating the flesh into shreds, usually while seated on a stool fitted with a serrated blade so that the worker’s weight stabilises it. The grated shreds are caught in Continue reading...

The Pacific is the tribal club centre of the world and there is a  good and practical reason for this. Hardwood trees were abundant in most of the Pacific, while iron was virtually non-existent before the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Of course clubs were not the only weapons used in Oceania. The full arsenal of offensive weapons included spears, bows and arrows, slings and bone daggers, but it was the club that received the most lavish decoration and flourished in a wider variety of fo Continue reading...

The distinctive  Andaman Islands bow is an elegant weapon that  resembles a two-bladed canoe paddle with flared ends. It  consists  of a thin blades that taper to a point in opposite directions  at the upper and lower ends and merge into a round handle in the centre. It is fired withe the top pointing back towards the archer's head, and the bottom pointing away from his feet (see field photographs below), Two forms of this bow exist. The North Andaman bow, in which the upper limb is much Continue reading...

prada handtaschen pandora armband ghd prada taschen clarisonic mia 2 wow gold cheap clarisonic plus world of warcraft gold buy ffxi gil ghd planchas wow gold for sale cheap wow gold final fantasy xi gil safe wow gold buy wow gold