Art/ Collection/ Art Object

House Post (Tomor)

Date:
19th–early 20th century
Geography:
Taiwan, Botel Tobago Island
Culture:
Yami people
Medium:
Wood, paint
Dimensions:
H. 81 1/2 x W. 38 in. (207 x 96.5 cm)
Classification:
Wood-Architectural
Credit Line:
From the Collection of Nina and Gordon Bunshaft, Bequest of Nina Bunshaft, 1994
Accession Number:
1995.65.2
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 355
The Yami people live in several villages along the shores of Botel Tobago Island, off the southeast coast of Taiwan. This large housepost, or tomok, once acted as the central roof support in a Yami dwelling. Preserved and reused for generations, houseposts were highly valued and passed by inheritance from fathers to their eldest sons. They were decorated with motifs similar to those that formerly adorned the large fishing canoes on which the Yami depended for their livelihood. The circular motifs at the center of this example are known as mata-no-tatara, or "eyes of the canoe," and depict the eyelike designs found on the bows and sterns of fishing vessels. The insectlike figures at the bottom represent Magamoag, an important ancestor credited with bringing the arts of agriculture and boat building to the Yami. Images of Magamoag might have acted, in part, to protect the household from anito, the malevolent souls of the dead. The remaining sections of the post depict more informal scenes of fish and fishing.
Nina and Gordon Bunshaft, New York; Nina Bunshaft, until (d.)1994

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, no. 153, pp. 258–259.

Related Objects

Damascus Room

Artist: Date: dated A.H. 1119/A.D. 1707
Accession Number: 1970.170
Date: dated A.H. 1119/A.D. 1707 Medium: Wood (poplar) with gesso relief, gold and tin leaf, glazes and paint; wood (cypress, poplar, and mulberry), mother-of-pearl, marble and other stones, stucco with glass, plaster ceramic tiles, iron, brass Accession: 1970.170 On view in:Gallery 461

Flying Apsaras (Hiten)

Artist: Date: late 11th to early 12th century
Accession Number: 2015.300.251a, b
Date: late 11th to early 12th century Medium: Lacquered and gilded Japanese cypress Accession: 2015.300.251a, b On view in:Gallery 224

Se (瑟 )

Artist: Fanfu Lou (Seal of Zha Youci) Date: 19th century Medium: Wood, silk Accession: 89.4.2163 On view in:Not on view

Triptych with the Mandylion

Artist: The Kremlin Armory Workshops, Moscow Date: 1637 Medium: Silver, partly gilt, niello, enamel, sapphires, rubies, spinels, pearls, leather, silk velvet, oil paint, gesso, linen, mica, pig-skin, woods: Tilia cordata (basswood or linden), white oak Accession: 1975.87 On view in:Gallery 303

Guardian Lion-Dogs

Artist: Date: mid-13th century
Accession Number: 2015.300.257a, b
Date: mid-13th century Medium: Japanese cypress with lacquer, gold leaf, and color Accession: 2015.300.257a, b On view in:Not on view