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Old 17th November 2020, 02:52 PM   #1
Tim Simmons
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Default Solomon Isl's help.

This really for the lurkers out there that know a lot about the Solomons and other Island groups. I know they are there as some have contacted me and even bought from me. I have this club/dance staff/cult staff club or made for sale? it does not strike me as a sale piece.
Shark form with an anthropomorphic {small mouth} aspect seen in the close up on one side of the item. It is made from the same wood as weapon clubs so it is quite weighty and could easily be used as a weapon but I do not really see it as a weapon. There is some age to it subject to the usual factors. I am showing it here with other shark cult/totem items from the British Museum data base. A lime stick and a building totem sculpture. Any information or discussion would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 19th November 2020, 11:26 AM   #2
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Assuming it is from Malaita, it might be worth checking out an article by David Akin "Malaitan Clubs", which is chapter 39 in Bolton et al. Melanesia: Art and Encounter.

I don't have the book: remember seeing it on sale in the B.M. bookshop and deciding not to buy it because I probably would never need to refer to it. One of life's little mistakes !
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Old 19th November 2020, 11:39 AM   #3
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Well I have found some of what I am looking for in this link. It stopped working just recently for me but I will still add it. It explains all if you take the trouble to read it. The only problem is the actual function of the piece is still unresolved although the context is now known. The club/staff is a carving depicting "Karemanua" A myth and a deity spirit guardian.

https://www.penn.museum/sites/expedi...rdian-dieties/

As mentioned the anthropomorphic aspect and now I can see that the arcs of shell inlay around the dorsal fin are to represent the streaming cordyline streamers as the shark "Karemanua" swims.
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Last edited by Tim Simmons; 19th November 2020 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 19th November 2020, 04:47 PM   #4
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Tim, because links often get broken I've taken the liberty of attaching the PDF version of the online page that you cited. The article contains all text and illustrations that were shown online. I believe copying the article here comes under the "fair use principle" of academic inquiry--to make sure we don't lose this information. Thanks for the research. Very informative and detailed discussion.

Ian.
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Old 2nd December 2020, 11:35 AM   #5
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Sorry Tim for sure made for market... look at the inlay also very very new.
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Old 2nd December 2020, 12:03 PM   #6
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Very new for sure.
Made for the market?! Maybe.
However, it looks well made employing traditional motives and techniques, at least to my undiscerning eyes.
So to me, it is an original and traditional item absolutely worthy to be collected.
Moreover, by purchasing and collecting recently made but traditional items, we can help keeping the tradition and crafts alive.
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Old 2nd December 2020, 04:48 PM   #7
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I know it is not antique but if you read all the information, Santa Ana Island and Santa Catalina Island where still practising traditional beliefs even in the 1960s so as far as I am concerned we do not know how it was collected. We know the social context of the form. Could quite possibly have been the kind of thing missionaries bring back.

Interesting made for the market stuff here. Some what different?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzNJ_km93S8

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Old 9th December 2020, 03:52 PM   #8
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Do not compare it to this type of market work. It is very different, to start with it carved from a heavy palmwood not not timber like the gift market carvings as shown here.
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