The upper part has a relief carving with a asymmetrical pattern characteristic of the region, the umbilicus motif „mopere".
Mopere, meaning navel or vagina, is regarded as the essence of life and is present in all types of mimika carving. Drums are essential for the accompaniment of many dances and festivals.
"The orchestra is simple and consists of two or three men who beat drums and sit before a small fire in the middle. Round them are grouped the chorus all sitting on the ground. The drums are hollowed cylinders of wood, which are often elaborately carved ; one end is open, the other is closed by a piece of lizard’s or snake’s skin.When this skin becomes slack, as it very quickly does, the drummer holds it towards the fire until it regains its pitch. It is not the custom to tune up both drums, when there are more than one, to the same pitch, usually an interval of about half a tone is left between
them. The most usual kind of song begins with a slow tapping of the drums, then these are beaten quicker and the singer (one of the drummers) begins a sort of recitative song, to which the chorus contributes a low humming accompaniment."
excerpt from: Wollaston, A. F. R. (1912) : Pygmies and Papuans - the stone age today in Dutch New Guinea. London: Smith, Elder and Co.
Kooijman, Simon (1984), Art, Object and Ritual in the Mimika Culture. Leiden: E.J. Brill.
Kunst, Jaap (1967) Music in New Guinea – Three studies by Jaap Kunst - `S.Gravenhage-Martinus Nijhoff.
Wollaston, A. F. R. (1912) : Pygmies and Papuans - the stone age today in Dutch New Guinea. London: Smith, Elder and Co.