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Beautiful Carved Bullroarer, Papuan Gulf
Papua New Guinea
Imunu Viki, Papuan Gulf Bullroarer, Circa 1940. L51cm.
Ex Thomas Eaddes Collection, Melbourne, Australia. He collected in situ throughout the 1950's. Ex Chris Boylan, Australia, Ex Private German Collection.
These oblong thin slats were used and known only by a selected group of male initiates.Swung in a circular motion creating a deep undulating sound.Played during male initiations, the whirring deep sound was said to be the voices of the kaiaimunu, powerful spirits embodied in large wickerwork effigies depicting monstrous animals kept in the men's ceremonial house. Sometimes called imunu viki (weeping spirit), bullroarers were also played at the funerals of prominent men where the sound represented the cries of a spirit (imunu) lamenting the person's death.