Iatmul Cassowary Bone dagger with Overmodeled Clay Head
Tribal Bod Mod

Iatmul Cassowary Bone dagger with Overmodeled Clay Head

Regular price $300.00 $0.00 Unit price per
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Item details

Vintage from the 1950s

Iatmul cassowary bone dagger with clay head - Papua New Guinea - mid 20th century. The Iatmul are a large ethnic group of about 10,000 people inhabiting some two-dozen politically autonomous villages along the middle Sepik River in Papua New Guinea. Cassowaries are large flightless birds native to the tropics of Queensland, Australia and New Guinea. They are related to ostriches, emus and rheas and are exceptionally deadly when confronted in close quarters. This ceremonial dagger is made out of a section of the large leg bone of a cassowary. The dagger tapers to a point at one end. The top has been overmodelled with clay and embellished with cowrie shells, paint, and long hair-like cassowary neck feathers. These ritual daggers are displayed as ritual status symbols by the Iatmul men. Measures about 22 inches, including feathers. Overall good condition.