- Museum number
Human figure (bager) made of coral. The female bust and head are carved in a block of coral, adapting natural shape. Placed by fire to keep it alight when people are absent.
- Production date
- 19thc (before 1889)
Length: 23 centimetres
Thickness: 9 centimetres
Width: 19 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Register slip comments:
A female image or charm whose lami or spirit was supposed to look after the fire.
No. 85 Zole or fire charm when the natives left their houses this was placed by the side of the fire to prevent is dying out. Mer.
Placed by fire to keep it alight when people absent.
Haddon notes that such objects were placed close to the fire when people left their home and the 'lamar' or spirit was supposed to mind the fire and see that it did not go out.
Refs: 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: 202. pl. XII, fig. 4.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1985 1 Jan-31 Oct 1987, Museum of Mankind, Lost Magic Kingdoms and Six Paper Moons from Nahuatl: An exhibition created by Eduardo Paolozzi
1993, London, Hayward Gallery, Aratjara: Aboriginal Art from Australia
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
- Acquisition notes
- Moore, 1984: Collected 1889.
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
CDMS number: Oc1889C16.185 (old CDMS no.)
Previous owner/ex-collection number: 85 (Haddon)