- Registration number
- Item name
- Captain Sydney Mercer-Smith
- Acquisition date
- December 08, 1951
- Acquisition method
- Donated by Mr Sydney Mercer-Smith
- Raw material
- bamboo, vine ?
- H: 280 mm W: 140 mm L: D: 65 mm Circum:
Bamboo panpipe consisting of 15 closed pipes of graduated lengths; bound together along the top, in a curved formation with grass, rattan and string; grass woven around shortest pipe. Registration number 2151 marked with old sticker, pen and tag.
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); the concave shape allows the panpipe to fit around the player's head while they move it around their face [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].