Ɵ Maori flute putorino,
New Zealand, Polynesia
Wood and linen fibres
H. 40.3 cm - W. 5 cm - D. 3.5 cm
Trumpet Flute putorino, Maori, New Zealand
H. 15 7/8 in - W. 2 in - W. 1 3/8 in
- Collection Kenneth Athol Webster, London
- Wayne Heathcote
- Private collection
- Anne D'Alleva, Art of Polynesia, Hurst Gallery, Cambridge, 1987
This rare and very beautiful Maori flute, putorino, is made of two hollow cylindrical wooden parts. The two parts are carefully connected by their two original ties, tied from the centre to the ends. In a very classical way, the flute is engraved in the middle with a face carved with complex refinement and a great luxury of details, the mouth in the shape of a wide open heart, embodying the spirit of the object. The work of scarification here is particularly dense and successful. The eyes had inlays, which have now disappeared.
Beautiful reddish-brown patina on fine-grained wood.
When blowing from the end of the flute, or the trumpet depending on the specialists, the fingers blocked the central part representing the spirit, and two male and female notes could be produced. The object could also be used to announce the return of the chief to the village or the beginning of a taboo period. This practice with an aerophone unique to Maori culture disappeared soon after the arrival of Europeans in the late 18th century.
This object comes from the old collection of Kenneth Athol Webster in London.
Location of the item France - 75008 Paris