EARLY ASMAT HEADHUNTER DRUM / DECAPITATED HEAD

Origin: Irian Jaya, Asmat People      (Provenance: Ex. Randy Khan- Tarzana California.  Previously in an old Dutch collection)

Period/Date:  Circa 1920's-30's

Materials: hardwood, resin, earth pigments, trace of lime infill

Description:  This fabulous old drum dates back to the early days when headhunting was a flourishing cultural practice.  Its openwork handle depicts a decapitated upside down human head, separated from its body, comprising the lower handle portion!  The patination around the top rim where its lizard skin drum head is significant, showing very long use and being recovered countless times.  Its deeply carved motifs are irregular and almost look stone carved (faint traces of lime infill in areas).  The body of the drum was carved with a stone adze and has evident tool marks.   One fascinating aspect of the drum's history is the carved honeycomb diamond-like pattern carved around the base with orange pigment.  This was added later and is part of its history.  As you can see, the pattern transitions into part of the original motif.  When a headhunting raid was launched on an enemy village, drums and women were among the most prized possessions to be stolen.  This would explain the addition of the diamond pattern clan motif where a warrior clamed and hallmarked it.   It would have been an important emblem and status symbol, not only for him but the entire village.  In very good condition.  Rich lustrous patina on the handle having an overall dry varied surface.

Dimensions:   Height 19.5"  (49.5 cm), Width 9"  (23 cm)

Price:  $1700         Currency Conversion      FREE SHIPPING With (Buy Now) Feature!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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