Themes: Carving

Unidentified ceremonial stick

Description:
The upper surface is ridged (like a cricket bat) while the underneath is flat and undecorated. The tapered end is carved symmetrically on each side of the ridge with elongated spirals. At the middle and three quarters of the way down from the narrow end there is a miniature 'handle' fitted with a cord. The wood is stained and there is little evidence of pigment. The carving reveals the colour of the underlying wood. The bottom 10cm is unstained or bleached, perhaps as a result of having been stuck in the ground. At the back of the narrow end there is a nail that secures a string for hanging.

Context:
Unknown original purpose, but perhaps used in dance ceremonies. It has been suggested that the motifs in the design might represent small bats.