dark brown/black patina; vessel in bird's back; outstretched wings; second bird below backside of first bird; white shell inlay throughout in triangle, circle and butterfly shapes; very light weight

Ceremonial Bowl, c. 1890

Unknown artist, expand_more

Tapa'a wood, shellexpand_more

The Putnam Dana McMillan Fundexpand_more  2004.107.5

Not on Viewexpand_more

Elaborate bowls such as this were important ritual objects used during the initiation ceremonies of the bonito fish society, a high-ranking group of men and boys in the community. The bowls were filled with food and offered up to the spirits as part of the initiation. Many vessels like this one are carved in the form of a frigate bird. Native to the Solomon Islands, it can be found twice on this particular object, underscoring its importance in island culture. The frigate bird not only embodied many valued characteristics such as agility and speed, it was also admired for its fierce and aggressive hunting skills as well as its ability to find schools of sacred bonito fish. This beautiful piece exemplifies the important bonds that existed between the visual traditions and the spiritual beliefs of the Solomon Islanders.

Explore

Audio

Ceremonial Bowl - 2 birds - Feast Bowl (#507)
Details
Title
Ceremonial Bowl
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2004.107.5
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

In consideration of the health and safety of visitors, volunteers, and staff, Mia is temporarily closed to the public. Learn more here.

dark brown/black patina; vessel in bird's back; outstretched wings; second bird below backside of first bird; white shell inlay throughout in triangle, circle and butterfly shapes; very light weight