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Pacific art

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Title

Tavi (coconut spoon)

early 20th century-mid 20th century
collected 1965


Artist

Iatmul people

Papua New Guinea


About

Spoons created from coconut shell – known as 'tavi' – were once widespread in the Sepik region. According to Tambanum villager Mark Kuatno, this 'tavi' was carved with the form of a 'gapma kami', the totem of the catfish clan. A hole drilled through the top of the mouth would have been threaded with bush string to suspend the spoon, following use.

[entry from Exhibition Guide for 'Melanesian art: redux', 2018, cat no 9]


Details


Cultural origin

Iatmul people


Dates

early 20th century-mid 20th century
collected 1965


Media category

Sculpture


Materials used

coconut shell


Dimensions

14.7 x 9.0 x 7.4 cm


Credit

Purchased 1965


Location

Not on display


Accession number

379.1994


Artist information

Iatmul people

Works in the collection

40


Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 1 publication

Bibliography


Tony Tuckson, Aboriginal and Melanesian art, Sydney, 1973, 44. cat.no. 40, 'Coconut spoon. Tambanum village (Iatmul). Coconut shell. 14.5l Collected 1965'