From the Island Republic of Palau, in the Western Islands States of Micronesia, comes this well crafted and Traditional Turtle Storyboard of the "Ngerubesang’ Tale*." Hand sculpted and set with a Mother of Pearl Eye. It is of a Honduras mahogany type wood and has crude cuts on its signed backside, along with a wood peg hole, indicating previous use in a Bai or?
Understanding an artist’s ability they can create art from many things. So it’s possible an artist’s uses old timbers from ancient and long forgotten Bai’s, or Men’s Meetinghouse structures. Even planks, though much thicker in contrast.
Seeing this storyboard’s wood I thought of a Mahogany type (related to chinaberry wood) possibly even Ironwood. Tapping a finger gives a crisp sound on the seasoned wood and being aged I incorrectly thought may have lessen it weight slightly. The grain effect (burl like) is possibly just where this cut in the tree came from and the condition of area the tree was harvested. But the sound I keep thinking is why Mahogany is so often used in making musical instrument. So I’ll just call it a hardwood and continue...
On the backside is a vertical mounting bracket for those favorite out of the way spots, to better view and protect when displaying. Here too will be found the Artist artfully inscribed name, "Willard.M.S." "Palau, Is" "9,,13,,1992".
Such storyboards were of its cultures faith and fates, along with ideas formed from family and land over millenniums of time. They were carved in beams and throughout structures called Bai. But sadly became forgotten to an ever encroaching World taking its toll upon a people, once lost only to their paradise.
When this particular Storyboard came to be was at the ending of the rebuilding of the Bai er a Ngesechel a Cherechar. Originally built in 1969 it was destroyed by fire in 1978 and in its site a replica of a Bai er a Rubak was built in 1991.
In that the Bai was built in the later 1900's, the last of any such Bai structural building was back in the early 1890's, being the Bai er a Ngara Irrai in Airai. All others were lost to a more primitive past and only this Bai stood after the closure of WWII.
Of the different kinds of Bai, the bai er a klobak is the most elaborate, and was the seat of the Council of Chiefs of each village, in the community's islands association.
Currently there are at least 5 art schools plus the Bali Prison. Where art is inspired and gifted to all that seek it.
The stories of how such work came to be are as fascinating as the history of the islands themselves and it would be suggested that a good reading of the culture be made.
Fishermen of Melekeok were on a tidal flat one day using a net of coconut fronds. Suddenly, a war party appeared in a canoe and one Melekeok man was speared. The men fled for their lives, but one had the presence of mind to run for help. In his fright, the man forgot to let loose of the coconut fronds which he still carried as he ran through the village shouting for help. Warriors were quickly rallied and the attack thwarted but the enemy was able to escape with the slain man's head. However, the humorous vision of the frightened man running for help with the coconut fronds streaming behind is the essential point of the tale.
Product Quantity: Only 1 Item in Stock.
Condition: Very good, being of vintage and well traveled. If a mark exists not apparent to be of the original, it is to the far left and below the only Palm tree figure shown there. In the last 26 years not bad at all.
Country: Island Republic of Palau
Size: approx. W: 24.0" H: 10.0" x Depth: 0.75"
Weight: 2 lbs 2.0 oz | ~ Ship (3.0lbs)
- Ship weight for this sale is an approximation till revised at time of purchase. For which a total ‘of all items’ and their weights being shipped will be known, should this be required.
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