We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

Title

Rmarki (day dance display ornament)

mid 20th century
collected 1965

Artist

Baining people

Papua New Guinea

Alternate image of Rmarki (day dance display ornament) by Baining people
Alternate image of Rmarki (day dance display ornament) by Baining people
Alternate image of Rmarki (day dance display ornament) by Baining people
Alternate image of Rmarki (day dance display ornament) by Baining people
  • Details

    Other Titles
    Dance shield
    Tapa dance wand
    Remortki
    Place where the work was made
    Gazelle Peninsula East New Britain Province New Britain Papua New Guinea
    Cultural origin
    Baining people
    Dates
    mid 20th century
    collected 1965
    Media categories
    Ceremonial object , Sculpture
    Materials used
    barkcloth, bamboo, plant fibres, red, red-brown and black natural dyes and pigments
    Dimensions
    625.0 cm length; 66.0 cm width; 5.0 cm depth
    Credit
    Purchased 1965
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    IA4.1965
    Copyright
    © Baining people, under the endorsement of the Pacific Islands Museums Association's (PIMA) Code of Ethics

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Baining people

    Works in the collection

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  • About

    The Chachet Baining live in an area surrounded by dense rainforest inhabited by spirits that dominate everyday life. Rituals and ceremonies, where colossal barkcloth masks are worn, act as mediations between the spiritual and physical worlds.

    The 'rmarki' shield is carried by a group of boys and men at the opening of the day dance, when the 'kusmespetut' dance is performed to cleanse the ceremonial ground of evil influences. Accompanied by two or three 'ara vuchulka' (polemasks), the 'rmarki' dancers spit ginger juice towards a group of singing and drumming women. The 'rmarki' is then taken away, having 'opened the day dance.

    This 'rmarki' featured in the 1966 exhibition 'Melanesian art', together with three 'kavat' (night dance masks) from the collections of artists John Olsen and Douglas Watson.

    [revised entry from Exhibition Guide for 'Melanesian art: redux', 2018, cat no 2]

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 4 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 6 publications

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