Side Blown Trumpet, late 19th–early 20th century
Papua New Guinea, Middle Sepik region
Wood, shell, hair, fiber
L. 23 3/4 in. (63 cm)
Purchase, Rogers Fund and Martin Wright Gift, 1980 (1980.262)
In former times, side blown trumpets, played by blowing while vibrating the lips into a hole on the side rather than the end of the instrument, were associated with warfare in the Middle Sepik Region of northeast New Guinea. Among the Iatmul people, side blown trumpets were sounded after a raid to announce the arrival of the warriors as they returned to their home village with prisoners or enemy heads. Like many Iatmul instruments, the trumpets were often played in pairs by two men, each using a trumpet with a slightly different pitch, who sounded them in alternation.