Art of Oceania
- Melanesia, an introduction
- Ambum Stone
- Kanak Mourning Mask
- Mask (Buk), Torres Strait, Mabuiag Island
- Bis Poles at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- The Life of Malagan
- Tin Mweleun, Slit Gong (Atingting kon)
- Slit Gong (Atingting kon)
- Presentation of Fijian mats and tapa cloths to Queen Elizabeth II
Met curator Eric Kjellgren on communication in Slit Gong (Atingting kon) by the Tin Mweleun peoples of Ambrym Island in Vanuatu, mid to late 1960s.
The towering slit gongs of northern Vanuatu are among the largest musical instruments in the world. Found primarily on Ambrym, Malekula, and neighboring islands, they are carved from the trunks of breadfruit trees, which are also an important food source. In each village, a number of gongs, comprising a sort of informal orchestra, stand on the village dancing ground. Gong orchestras are played at major social and religious events such as initiations, funerals, and dances. When playing, the musician stands in front of the gong and strikes the lip of the slit with a clublike wooden beater. As the gong ensemble is played, rhythms of immense variety and complexity can be produced by the carefully coordinated actions of multiple drummers.
View this work on metmuseum.org.Created by The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Want to join the conversation?
- Would this have been made from a single tree trunk or is this made of several attached to one another? I didn't think islands had large trees if in fact it is the former?(5 votes)
- On the contrary, some of the soil on Pacific islands are very fertile. I have seen many large trees on the islands I have visited.(7 votes)
- Would this statue be standing upright? It seems as if it would be unbalanced if you were hitting it with a wooden mallet.(4 votes)
- I believe that it was suspended above the ground by strong rope that ran under the statues nose
(The huge hole in the face (Above the "Slit" that runs through the statue))
(Sorry if this was no help.)(1 vote)
- How long did a typical sculpture take to create?(2 votes)
- It depends on the material and the height plus the amount of detail that was put it to the sculpture(2 votes)