About the object

Decorative spears were not used as weapons. Their function is largely unknown, but the depiction of a human figure would suggest a ceremonial context. Such figures embody an ancestor. They are often found on objects from the Admiralty Islands. Ornately decorated and painted spears were made for sale to white people at the beginning of the 20th century, but were less carefully crafted. The spear, as well as other objects in the Oceania collection, were 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.

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