SOLOMON ISLAND BOUGAINVILLE ORCHID FIBER BARBED FIGHTING SPEAR
Origin: Melanesia, Solomon Islands, (Provenance: Ex. Collection of Dr. Geroge Alan Solem (curator of invertebrates at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago). Dr. Solem died in 1990.
Period/Date: Circa 1930's
Materials: wood, cane, orchid stem fiber, bone
Description: A rare and impressive three barb fighting spear. Its shaft is decorated with woven orchid stem fiber in geometric designs, similar to some of the vivid and colorful bows and arrows found on this Island. Compared to the bows they made, few spears have survived. This example retains 95 percent of its original wrapping. Its tips are strengthen and reinforced with binding which secure numerous bone barbs. Many of the delicate barbs are now broken or missing from use and combat.
Dimensions: Length 73" (23 cm), Width 2" (12.5 cm)
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