Tami is a small island at the eastern end of the Huon Gulf, Morobe Province in Papua New Guinea. These bowls had a number of purposes, such as a form of bride price, but the most important was always feasting. They were used to prepare and serve “porong” which is made from tapioca and coconut fat. The feasts were like Thanksgiving, sharing food with friends and family.
They were carved from a type of hardwood known as kwila (intsia bijuga). After the images were carved the bowls were stained with volcanic mud to give them a deep patina. The entire bowl was then covered with lime pigment. Everything but the incised designs were then wiped clean, leaving the white pigmentation which highlight the grooves of the bowl’s designs.
The anthropomorphic figure at each end, wearing a multi-pronged headdress is a benevolent spirit called a “balum”. Along each side is an image of a double headed hornbill bird.
Personally collected Firebird Voyage
27"L x 11"W x 5"H