- Museum number
Garden charm, in form of human figure (sokop madub) carved in profile from a flat piece of wood. Painted in red, black, yellow, and white patterns. Placed in tobacco garden to guard the crop or aid growth (see comments).
- Production date
- 19thc (before 1889)
Length: 69 centimetres
Thickness: 2 centimetres
Width: 12.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Register slip comment:
No. 44 Sugob madub a charm for the quick growth of tobacco Mer. This specimen may have been made some 3 or 4 years ago.
Note states 'this specimen may have been made some 3 or 4 years.'
Placed in tobacco garden to guard crop.
Refs: Haddon, A.C., (ed.), 1901-35, 'Reports of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres Straits', Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1912, Vol 4: Arts and Crafts: 391; Haddon, A.C., (ed.), 1901-35, 'Reports of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres Straits', Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1908, Vol 6: Sociology, magic and religion of the Eastern Islanders: 207-9. pl. XIII, fig. 5.
Comment from Dr Ian Coates, National Museum of Australia, March 2014: Haddon in his 1888-9 journal [p80] gives a slightly different description of this object. He notes the following:
C. [Oc.89+.176] is a flat piece of wood cut to represent a man – it is known as “sŭgōb mādūor ‘tobacco charm’ these were placed upright in the tobacco gardens to make the plants grow quickly.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2015 23 Apr-2 Aug, London, BM, G35, Indigenous Australia: enduring civilisation
2015-2016 27 Nov-28 Mar, Canberra, National Museum of Australia, Encounters
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
CDMS number: Oc1889C16.176 (old CDMS no.)
Previous owner/ex-collection number: 44 (Haddon)