About the object
Wooden bowls were objects of extraordinary importance on the Admiralty Islands. They were used on special occasions. Thus, girls were only allowed to eat from wooden or clay bowls during their first menstruation, not from the usual woven vessels. Important men also ate their meals from wooden bowls as a sign of their position. The bowls were only made on a few of the islands in the Admiralty group and then traded from there. As special objects it is also striking on account of its ornate design. The vignettes on both sides may be interpreted as the carver's signature. This bowl, as well as other objects in the Oceania collection, was collected by Wilhelm Lebahn, captain of the Imperial Navy survey ship »S.M.S. Planet«, on which the ethnologist, anthropologist and marine doctor Augustin Krämer was also travelling. The Lebahn collection was sold after his death by his brother-in-law Dr. Rudolf Plähn from Waldkirch.