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Spear

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Object Number:18223
Current Location: Collections Storage
Provenience: New Britain
Section:Oceanian
Materials:Wood
Bird Bone
Shell
Length: 284 cm
Credit Line:Gift of William Pepper, 1891

Description

The butt is inserted in the femur of a cassowary.

Carried by special bearers at certain ceremonies. These spears, in spite of their decoration of dyed rattan and nassa shells, were probably also used in war. The butt is inserted in the femur of a cassowary. This is a substitute for a human bone, which further east is found on spears. There it is taken from the skeleton of a slain relative of the owner of the spear, and is the mark of the avenger of the victim.

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