A TAMI ISLAND HEADREST

Provenance: Christian Gottlob Keyser, Neuendettelsau Mission, Geroldgrün
Collected at Sattelberg Mission Station, Finchhafen district 1899-1921

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.
Tami style headrest tend to be roughly rectangular and have a flat or only slightly curved cradle for the user’s head. Human and geometric figures in openwork decorate the main body of the rest. The similarity between these carvings and those on Tami style bowls evidence that both were carved by the same talented craftsmen, as the headrest designs.

Tami Islands, Papua  New Guinea
Wood, beginning of 20th century. 12 x 15 cm

Price: € 3.750