Art/ Collection/ Art Object


mid to late 19th century
Papua New Guinea, Tami Islands
Tami Islands
Wood, lime
H. 4 13/16 x W. 2 5/8 x D. 6 3/8 in. (12.3 x 6.6 x 16.2 cm)
Credit Line:
The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Bequest of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1979
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 354
Linked by a complex maritime trade network in which ritual objects, designs, and ceremonies circulated alongside more mundane goods, the north coast of New Guinea and the islands off its shores gave rise to a series of closely-related art traditions. These traditions extended from Astrolabe Bay and the coastal Huon
peninsula across the islands of the Vitiaz Strait to parts of southern New Britain. The Tami Islands, located off the eastern tip of the Huon Peninsula, comprised the most prolific and influential center of art production in the region. Tami objects and designs circulated widely, creating a shared aesthetic so pervasive that the region’s artistic traditions are often called the Tami style. However, artists in each culture adapted this shared artistic vocabulary to create their own distinctive imagery.
[Julius Carlebach Gallery, New York, until 1950]; Nelson A. Rockefeller, New York, 1950, on permanent loan to The Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1959–1978

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Art of Oceania, Africa, and the Americas from the Museum of Primitive Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1969, no. 80.

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