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Cassera Gallery

A 19th Century Maori "Putorino" wooden wind instrument

A 19th Century Maori "Putorino" wooden wind instrument

Regular price $15,000.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $15,000.00 USD
Sale Sold out

A Maori "Putorino" wooden wind instrument

Mid/late 19th century; Maori Peoples, New Zealand

The bugle flute with a central grimacing mask carving featuring an oval aperture in the form of a mouth and inlaid paua (abalone) eyes; the two hollowed wood pieces held together with natural fiber cord lashings

16.5" H x 1.75" W x 1.25" D 

Provenance: Property of the American Broadcasting Company, New York

Walt Disney Co., Burbank, California, acquired by corporate merger with the above;

Private Collection, Los Angeles, California, acquired from the above


Other Notes: One of the enigmas of Oceanic music is the putorino, an instrument once made by the Maori people of Aotearoa (New Zealand) that may have been played as a flute or as a trumpet. Carved from a block of matai wood (Podocarpus spicatus) to mimic a case moth's (tungou ngou) cocoon, the putorino is formed by splitting the wood, hollowing the inside, and lashing it back together with vine. The putorino has a feminine voice representing the female ancestor Hineraukatauri, who personifies flute music.

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