Set of six panpipes bound into a raft with a strap of flat leaf which has been then lashed over with rolled bark fibre string in a pattern of X shapes. The proximal end of each pipe is open, and the distal end is closed by a node.

6-Note Panpipes, Biago, Kiwai people, Papuan Gulf, Papua New Guinea. Biago panpipes were one of the many objects exported by this creative and enterprising people. There are typically six pipes in each set. The Kiwai live on and around Goaribari island in the mouth of the Kikori river delta in the Papuan Gulf of southern Papua New Guinea. Traditionally, they were musically very active, playing drums, single-pipe flutes, the jew’s harp, wooden trumpets, and various different kinds of percussion instruments. Amazingly, the Rev. James Chalmers remarked, at around the time that this object was collected, that almost all adult Kiwai were able to play the panpipes well, and they were a favourite instrument (alongside the gama drum) for accompanying dancing. Bamboo. Late 19th Century.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: enquiry@horniman.ac.uk