Lake Sentani, Irian Jaya, New Guinea, Melanesia
H. 84.5 cm

Wood, fibers, tapa and skin

Provenance: Edith Hafter collection, Solothurn, Switzerland

Publication: Carlier, J-E., Du lac Sentani au village d’Aitape, Paris, Galerie Voyageurs & Curieux, 2022, p. 30 à 33

This hourglass-shaped drum and its side handle are carved from a single piece of heavy, dense wood. Drums such as this belong to the furniture of ceremonial houses and to the chief, the ondoforo. Between their uses, the ceremonial drums are suspended in the house of the ondoforo. It seems that the sound of the drum directly represents the voice of the spirit of the ancestor. Important drums like this are assigned a mythical ancestor name suggesting that it embodies a specific ancestor. The upper part of the drum is covered with spiral patterns characteristic of Lake Sentani. The middle section at the hilt represents the barkcloth belt worn by the chief around his loins. The lower part is decorated with a light delicate relief depicting a creature whose limbs meet on both sides of the drum.

Photos © Hughes Dubois

Get access to the latest exhibitions and galleries on OASIS

Please leave your message and details below so the Gallery may get in touch with you.

To get in touch and create your own virtual gallery, please contact us:

Or leave us a message:

About the project

OASIS is the first immersive platform for the art world.

Designed specifically for collectors and art lovers, this revolutionary digital platform offers a unique experience to discover, learn, and collect artworks by exploring 3D spaces of renowned galleries.

We strive to create a dialogue between collectors and galleries of various disciplines such as design, contemporary, modern, ancient, and tribal art.

OASIS is the quintessence of the best online technologies.
An immersive experience that represents the internet of tomorrow for today’s collector.
A new world opens up to you.

Experience Art like never before.

The OASIS Team