Abstract

This paper is an exploratory investigation of Papuan Gulf spirit boards. These ceremonial items and their designs were owned by clans and other patrilineal groups and comprised an important aspect of traditional ceremonial life. During the early contact period, they were intensively collected by Europeans and now appear among world-wide museum holdings of Papua New Guinea material culture. The Australian Museum has an extensive collection of spirit boards that provide the primary data for this study. Here spirit board design elements are analysed to understand how they are distributed between or only retained within cultural groups living in the east-central Papuan Gulf. The paper also examines ways to analyse spirit board designs.

 
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Bibliographic Data

Short Form
Rhoads, 2021. Tech. Rep. Aust. Mus., Online 34: 195–218
Author
James W. Rhoads
Year
2021
Title
Papuan Gulf spirit boards and detecting social boundaries: a preliminary investigation. In From Field to Museum—Studies from Melanesia in Honour of Robin Torrence, ed. Jim Specht, Val Attenbrow, and Jim Allen
Serial Title
Technical Reports of the Australian Museum online
Volume
34
Start Page
195
End Page
218
DOI
10.3853/j.1835-4211.34.2021.1752
Language
en
Date Published
12 May 2021
Cover Date
12 May 2021
ISSN
ISSN 1835-4211 (online)
Publisher
The Australian Museum
Place Published
Sydney, Australia
Subjects
ANTHROPOLOGY; ARCHAEOLOGY; NEW GUINEA
Digitized
12 May 2021
Available Online
12 May 2021
Reference Number
1752
EndNote
1752.enw
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