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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Events » » California Events » » Spirits and Headhunters: Art of the Pacific Islands - Bowers Museum, Santa Ana
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Spirits and Headhunters: Art of the Pacific Islands - Bowers Museum, Santa Ana
JONPAUL
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 12, 2010
Posts: 134
From: Venice, California
Posted: 2010-02-06 3:00 pm   Permalink

SPIRITS AND HEADHUNTERS: ART OF THE PACIFIC ISLANDS
Bowers Museum, Santa Ana - Feb. 20 - Dec. 31, 2010



From the Bowers Museum site...

Photographer Chris Rainier guest curates this exhibition of art from the South Pacific. Spanning the geographic region collectively referred to as Oceania, this comprehensive exhibition highlights masterworks from the three cultural regions of Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia. Particular focus is placed on New Guinea, land of the headhunter, and the rich artistic traditions infused into daily and ritual life. Submerge into a visually stunning world and come face to face with larger-than-life masks, finely crafted feast bowls, objects associated with the secretive Sepik River men’s house, beautiful shell and feather currency, magic figures and tools of the shaman, objects related to seagoing trade routes, gorgeous personal adornments, weapons of warfare and the most precious of human trophies taken in retribution.

Those that plan on attending the day of the opening will be able to take advantage of a special guest lecture at 1:30 PM by photographer Chris Rainer.

For further information, visit...

www.bowers.org

And for further information on the concurrent Chris Rainier photography exhibit, see this thread...

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=35441&forum=17

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[ This Message was edited by: JONPAUL 2010-02-06 15:08 ]


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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Central Poet Laureate

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2793
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2010-02-08 12:57 pm   Permalink

This looks good.

Years ago the Bower had an Oceanic room full of canoes and other Polynesian artifacts. It will be great to see this type of exhibit again after more than a decade.


 
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Babalu
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Joined: Nov 19, 2006
Posts: 2505
From: Lemon Grove
Posted: 2010-02-08 2:29 pm   Permalink

Sweet! Looks like I have to wonder up north.

The other Show listed on the Bowers Site that follows this one starting Dec 26th - "Where Masks Still Dance" looks mighty tasty too.

PS: Oops...just saw the other thread on this...
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[ This Message was edited by: Babalu 2010-02-08 14:31 ]


 
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bigtikidude
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Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 8893
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2010-02-23 9:17 pm   Permalink

bump


 
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Central Poet Laureate

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2793
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2010-03-01 5:55 pm   Permalink

The Bowers Museum really delved into their vast collection of Oceanic artifacts this time to do quite an extensive exhibition in their newly-built wing. Just a breathtaking collection that you could spend hours and hours taking in. Since it's only a few minute drive from my workplace, I went ahead and got a year's membership so I could visit this collection multiple times until it closes - something I haven't done since the early 1990s when they had their last Oceanic exhibit. The scope of this one puts that last exhibit to shame.

The foyer to the main exhibit hall is well-lit and houses some monumental pieces.


including several nice slit drums






The main exhibit hall is darker with a meandering maze of lit display cases and larger tableaux




Grade Figures from Vanuatu, carved from Tree Ferns


Asmat carvings


Several feasting bowls. This is one I liked.














Easter Island Artifacts


Majority were Melanesian artifacts, but several cases of Polynesian:


Many, many cases of smaller ornamental pieces, including my all-time favorite, that I've only seen in books until now - Necklace of Sperm Whale teeth worn in Fiji and Samoa:


I'd love to find a way to reproduce these in resin or ceramic (sperm whale teeth being illegal and/or incredibly expensive nowadays.


A close second favorite was this back ornament made of hornbill and boar's tusks.


several cases of just ceremonial bone knives:




Perhaps what impressed me most were the Baining Fire Dance Masks. I've seen them in books, but had no idea how gigantic and eerie they are. They're made for one dance only and then left to rot in the jungle afterwards. So nice that these ones were collected in the mid-20th century and preserved.







I've just shown a fraction of what's on view, so do yourself a favor and make a point to see this exhibit before it's gone in December. The collection of photographs from Papua New Guinea in another hall deserves a post of its own.





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[ This Message was edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2010-03-01 18:09 ]


 
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1961surf
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Joined: May 03, 2007
Posts: 1927
From: Newport Beach, Ca .
Posted: 2010-03-01 6:12 pm   Permalink

Thanks for posting and great pics Sabu.I will be going real soon after seeing your pics.

 
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goddess-sunb
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Joined: Jan 11, 2010
Posts: 24
Posted: 2010-03-03 3:35 pm   Permalink

Agreed!!! very nice pixs Sabu. Thanks JP for posting this thread - will definitely go and check it out.

Roxie


 
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danlovestikis
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4790
Posted: 2010-03-04 5:45 pm   Permalink

Living up north we miss so many wonderful exhibits, thank you for taking us on a wonderful tour, Wendy and Dan
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Cammo
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Joined: May 18, 2006
Posts: 1952
From: San Diego
Posted: 2010-03-05 12:02 pm   Permalink

Are these pieces all in their permanent collection - or on loan from around and about?! Holy Kokonuttio!!!!!

And - I'm surprised they let you take photos of the whole thing, especially as the curator is a photographer! Usually I get my ass kicked for even trying to take snaps.


 
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Central Poet Laureate

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2793
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2010-03-05 3:46 pm   Permalink

Hi Cammo,

I was told that these are all pieces from the Bower's permanent collection, believe it or not. I wonder where they store all this stuff when it's not being displayed (which seems to be years and years between shows). I know they have some very large canoes too, from their exhibit back in the 90s.

I was cautious about taking photos as well and asked beforehand. They said photos were fine as long as no flash was used. The displays seemed to be lit well enough for my camera.

I felt almost like I was taking advantage of the fact as I snapped away at every case and artifact, filling my camera up with hundreds of photos. One of the docents noticed me spending a lot of time at one of the cases containing a Stick Chart and came over to investigate. We ended up having a long, interesting discussion about Polynesian navigation and how the stick charts were used as well as star paths and other methods. (I used to be keen on this topic back when I was on an outrigger canoe team) After that, I felt like I had the benevolent run of the place. I did notice a few other folks taking photos as well.

There are jungle sound effects of PNG birds etc, in the background, adding even more to the experieince.


 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7318
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2010-03-18 6:18 pm   Permalink

SWEET! I am hoping to visit on next Tuesday or Wednesday - I'll take an empty memory card Do they sell a photo book too?

 
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little lost tiki
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Joined: Jun 12, 2006
Posts: 7582
From: Orange,CA-right near the Circle!
Posted: 2010-03-19 10:21 pm   Permalink

Very Cool!
and only 4 miles from the studio!
Great pics Sabu!
Gracias!
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I'm on Facebook too! under my real name Ken Ruzic
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hodadhank
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Joined: Dec 28, 2005
Posts: 1686
From: Mission Beach, CA
Posted: 2010-03-20 11:04 am   Permalink

Going to have to brave the Orange Curtain for this one. Where'd I put that gass mask...

 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7318
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2010-03-27 9:34 pm   Permalink

Very nice exhibit. I took lots of pics but some were a little blurry from the long exposure time in the relative darkness. I wish I had taken a small tripod


I would expect to see this guy as a logo for a surf equipment company or a fish taco restaurant chain.
"Sculpture is the predominate art form of New Ireland with a long tradition of carving from memeory. This evil fleshless fish spirit is said to always be found swimming alone, it's vicious fangs thoroughly exposed and it's eyes made of shell, are full of malicious intent. Early New Ireland sculptures were destroyed or sold to collectors after they had served their singular purpose as ceremonial items- mythical representations that strengthened relationships and functioned in the memorial rites of the dead. The tradition of Malagan carving is continued today, in appearence it has changed little from the past"


I thought the snakes were unique here, seems like I haven't seen much snake imagery in PNG carvings.
"The people of New Ireland are known for their elaborate funeral rituals called Magalan ceremonies, in which highly detailed masks are worn. The mask represents the tatanua, the most important of a person's three souls which resides in the head - an important part of one's being for engaging in both the spiritual dimension and the world of daily life."

The Baining Fire Dance masks are impressive - I had seen them before at the NY Met museum but I don't remember them being so big!


 
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bigtikidude
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Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 8893
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2010-04-28 09:53 am   Permalink

bump


 
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