- Museum number
Flute, koauau, made of human bone. Three finger holes at unequal distances apart. One side has a carved figure, and is pierced with holes for suspension. The other has a lizard carved in relief. Both ends are carved.
- Production date
- 1800-1830 (?)
Length: 14.20 centimetres
Width: 2.50 centimetres
Depth: 3.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Non-composite object. Modified human remains. No record of research. Repatriation claim received 2004.
Registration record: 'Flute, made of a piece of human (?) bone, pierced with three finger holes at unequal distances apart, at one side a projection carved as a grotesque figure and pierced for suspension; on the opposite side, a lizard at full length, on faint relief; both ends carved.'
Assessment by Caroline Cartwright, Science Group, CDS, BM, Sept 2006 confirms bone is human.
Starzecka, Neich and Pendergrast 2010
496 Plate 90
End-blown straight flute, koauau
LMS 145. Length 14.2 cm.
Human-bone flute: three finger holes in side; Janus face at both ends. Lug through projecting, prone, human figure with convoluted asymmetrical body in rauponga and plain spirals; very low-relief naturalistic lizard on opposite side.
Provenance: London Missionary Society Collection.
Label: ‘LM Socy 568’.
Comments: Taranaki; early nineteenth century (RN); nineteenth century (DRS).
References: Barrow 1972: 33, fig. 41; Te Awekotuku 1996: 48.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
CDMS number: Oc1911C27.145 (old CDMS no.)
Miscellaneous number: Oc1890,Loan (originally loaned to BM in 1890 by LMS)