Telefomin Area drum / Trommel / Tambour, Sandaun province, Mountain-Ok people, New Guinea / Neuguinea
Carved from a single piece of light wood, it features deep and bold traditional motifs on its base in black, white and red.
"Not all Mountain-Ok groups make the hourglass-shaped hand-drums (ot/wos); some import them from those who specialise in their manufacture.
For example, although a few Telefomin make their own drums, most are imported from the Atbalmin to the west.
Nevertheless, the design is the same throughout the area.
The Tympanum is formed from the skin of a lizard streched tightly over the proximal end of the drum and glued into place with the sap of a tree.
Small lumps of beewax are pressed onto the skin to improve its tone. At the distal end, a design is carved and painted with red, white and black paint.
The design is identical for all the Mountain-Ok groups but the meanings of the design elements may vary.
The Telefomin provide meanings identical to similar motifs on houseboards and shields."
Excerpt from: Barry Craig (1988)– Art and Decoration of Central New Guinea, p.53
"(...)among Telefol speakers and other Min groups, males in their twenties learn how to drum at the fifth of seven stages of initiation, called wotban. While the drum (wot) itself is not secret, knowledge to play it is learned through ritual, where the relation of the instrument, its
playing, and its sound to cultural heroes, taro, death, maggots, decay, and fertility can only be taught through initiation (Brumbaugh 1979:240–41, 368–75; 1990)."
Excerpt from the book: Weiner, James F. and Niles, Don (2015); Songs of the Empty Place - The Memorial Poetry of the Foi of the Southern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea.p.XXXIII
Bibliography: Brumbaugh, Robert (1980). "Models of Separation and a Mountain Ok Religion". Ethos. 8 (4): 332–348
Cranstone, B. (1968). "War shields of the Telefomin sub-district, New Guinea". Man. 3
Craig Barry (1988) : Art and Decoration of Central New Guinea. Publisher, Shire Publications Ltd.
Weiner, James F. and Niles, Don (2015); Songs of the Empty Place - The Memorial Poetry of the Foi of the Southern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea.