(Papua New Guinea – )
Rmarki (day dance display ornament)
- Other titles:
- Dance shield, Tapa dance wand, Remortki
- Photography gallery
- Further information
The Chachet Baining live in an area surrounded by dense rainforest inhabited by spirits that dominate everyday life. Rituals and ceremonies, where colossal barkcloth masks are worn, act as mediations between the spiritual and physical worlds.
The 'rmarki' shield is carried by a group of boys and men at the opening of the day dance, when the 'kusmespetut' dance is performed to cleanse the ceremonial ground of evil influences. Accompanied by two or three 'ara vuchulka' (polemasks), the 'rmarki' dancers spit ginger juice towards a group of singing and drumming women. The 'rmarki' is then taken away, having 'opened the day dance.
This 'rmarki' featured in the 1966 exhibition 'Melanesian art', together with three 'kavat' (night dance masks) from the collections of artists John Olsen and Douglas Watson.
[revised entry from Exhibition Guide for 'Melanesian art: redux', 2018, cat no 2]
- Place of origin
East New Britain Province,
Papua New Guinea
- Cultural origin
- Baining people
- mid 20th century
- Ceremonial object, Sculpture
- barkcloth, bamboo, plant fibres, red, red-brown and black natural dyes and pigments
- 625.0 cm length; 66.0 cm width; 5.0 cm depth
- Purchased 1965
- Accession number
- © Baining people, under the endorsement of the Pacific Islands Museums Association's (PIMA) Code of Ethics