Coconut charm to ward off evil spirits, Papua New Guinea, 1890-1920

Made:
1890-1920 in Papua New Guinea
maker:
Unknown

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Coconut charm or 'Lakakare' carved to represent swordfish with separate bone sword jaw, Papuan Gulf area, New Guinea,
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Coconut charm or "Lakakare" carved to represent sword fish with separate bone sword jaw, secured inside cover strong bag with strap, worn to keep off evil spirits, Papuan Gulf area, New Guinea, 1890-1920

LaKaKare charms from Papua New Guinea were often made from carved coconuts. The charms represented marine creatures – in this case a swordfish – or the heads of pigs. This charm has a swordfish jaw attached at the bottom. The hollow coconut would have been filled with substances believed to have magical powers. The fibre bag allowed travellers to carry the charm around their necks to ward off danger.

Details

Category:
Ethnography and Folk Medicine
Object Number:
A160938
Materials:
bag, string, fishbone and shell, coconut
type:
amulet
taxonomy:
  • plant material
  • fruit
  • fleshy fruit
  • stone-fruit
credit:
Sothebys

Cite this page

Rights

We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.


Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero


Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data

Download

Download catalogue entry as json

View manifest in IIIF viewer

Add to Animal Crossing Art Generator

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.