About the object

Ornate camp beds were part of the dowry of a bride on the Admiralty Islands. They were used in marriage ceremonies that lasted several weeks at a time. However, they could also be used outside the ceremonial context as an ordinary bed. The beds were built with mortise joints so that they could be disassembled for transportation purposes. The ornaments are figurative representations of humans or animals, ubiquitous on the Admiralty Islands. Four bedposts carved as male figures display the traditional male hairstyle and tattooing. Similar to the ceremonial beam in the collection (inventory no. II / 0206) which originates from the same area, the long side bars of the bed have been designed as a crocodile body with a head at either end. The object was collected by Lieutenant Paul Werber from Freiburg, 1st Officer in the Imperial Navy who sailed the South Seas for a total of two years on the S.M.S. Cormoran and donated about 100 objects from various regions of Oceania to the museum.

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