This is a very unique Dagger all Carved in Bone with a Woven Fiber and Wild Orchid Stem Case from the latmul Tribe of Papua New Guinea. This is a traditional Iatmul carved bone Pay Back or Ceremonial Dagger. In the case of Payback dagger the account is usually settled with the killing of an animal or bird. The Ceremonial Wood Dagger was never used as a weapon. These daggers are used to control debates that are in the Spirit Houses and sometimes in dances. The legend has it that depending on who you ask the dagger either moves through the ground or turns to face the man with the "strongest talk" and this man has his say until the dagger chooses someone else. Actually what happens is that the dagger is pushed into ground in front of the man who is about to talk. As in the Spirit House, quite often, there is a background level of discussion, and the power coming from this object gives the speaker the confidence to talk above everyone else, another words It establishes some order with the tribal discussion. This particular dagger is unique, because of the woven plant fiber case it sits in. This is one of a kind and would make a lovely addition to your collection.
COMES ON A STAND
Shows age, discoloration and some fraying on the edges, but overall it is in good condition.
Dagger on Stand
14.5 " tall
1 1/2" wide
7 1/2" tall
1" wide Top
1/2" wide Bottom
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