Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Flute Stopper

late 19th–early 20th century
Papua New Guinea, Lower Sepik, Yuat River region
Biwat people
Wood, paint, shell
H. 8 3/8 x W. 1 13/16 x D. 1 3/4 in. (21.3 x 4.6 x 4.5 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
The intricate woodcarvings of the Biwat people of the Yuat River served largely as personal ornaments worn in the hair or attached to the belts or armbands of dancers. In addition to the decoration of the human body, Biwat artists created a variety of ornaments to adorn sacred flutes such as the small flute stopper seen here, which originally served to seal the upper end of a hollow bamboo flute.
Worthington Hammersley Southwick, New York; [Julius Carlebach Gallery, New York, until 1949]; Nelson A. Rockefeller, New York, 1949, on permanent loan to The Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1959–1978

Mead, Margaret. "An Importing Culture." In The Mountain Arapesh. Vol. vol. 1. New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1938.

Pelrine, Diane. Affinities of Form: Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas from the Raymond and Laura Wielgus Collection. Munich: Prestel-Verlag, 1996.

Kjellgren, Eric. Oceania: Art of the Pacific Islands in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2007, 49, 88-9.

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