- Registration number
- Item name
- Indigenous name
- gwa`i susuru (Kwara`ae language)
- Associated cultural group
- Pacific > Solomon Islands
- Captain Sydney Mercer-Smith
- Acquisition date
- December 08, 1951
- Acquisition method
- Donated by Mr Sydney Mercer-Smith
- Raw material
- bamboo, plant fibre
- H: 56 mm W: 38 mm L: D: 8 mm Circum:
Bamboo panpipe consisting of five closed pipes of graduated lengths and bound together with grass. Grass is wound around longest pipe and woven in between other pipes and tied off around shortest pipe. Registration number 2150 marked with pen and tag.
From the UQ Anthropology Museum exhibition ‘Solomon Islands: Re-enchantment and the Colonial Shadow’, a scholarly project curated by Diana Young in collaboration with research consultants Graham Baines, Annie Ross, Clive Moore and David Akin, August 2016 – June 2017.
Tuned in sequential notes in “artificial heptatonic scale” – i.e. the seven notes in the octave are equidistant. The five remaining pipes (there’s at least one missing) are tuned equidistantly – slight differences between the tones and semitones of standard Western scale (Zemp 1979).
The row of closed bamboo pipes on this panpipe produces soft sounds whereas open pipes produce loud, low sounds. A panpipe consisting of both a row of open and closed pipes produces sympathetic resonance following the louder notes (see 22468) [D Akin 2013, pers. comm., 5 September].
Part of a large group of objects donated to the University’s Anthropology Museum by Mr Sydney Mercer-Smith. The objects were collected by his father Captain Sydney Mercer-Smith in the years 1893-1900 while he was employed as a Queensland government agent in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Captain Mercer-Smith worked on the Queensland labour trade vessels to oversee the recruitment of Islanders for work on the sugar plantations in Queensland and to prevent unlawful recruitment known as ‘blackbirding’ [Mercer-Smith source file].