Charm (marupai)

51.106.95

About this object

A small coconut carved into the shape of an animal's head at one end with a half-open mouth. The half with the face has carved surface decoration infilled with white pigment. The other end has a hole with a fibre cord through it.

Reverend John Henry Holmes, who collected this object between 1893 and 1900, writes: 'Those [protective charms}... were dwarf coconuts very finely carved by experts, and worn in small twine bags around the neck when the owner was on a journey, to protect him from the spells of alien sorcerers and the violence of strangers.'

Object specifics

  • Type
    Religion
  • Culture
    Elema
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Oceania: Melanesia: New Guinea: Gulf of Papua: Purari Delta
  • Date made
    1900 before
  • Materials
    Lime; Coconut
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, World Cultures
  • Acquisition
    Purchased from Mrs Elsie Wilkins Sexton, 1951
  • Collector
    John Henry Rev Holmes
  • Place collected
    Oceania: Melanesia: New Guinea: Gulf of Papua
  • Date collected
    1893 - 1900
  • Measurements
    101 mm x 28 mm
  • Related people
    John Henry Rev Holmes ( Collector, previous owner); Elsie Wilkins Sexton ( Previous owner)

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Elsie Wilkins Sexton

    Owned from: 1901
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1951
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • John Henry Rev Holmes

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1901
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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