Message Board

ABADJERA: artist

No image available

Not On Display

About the work

Message boards and sticks are used primarily as memory aids. A person who wants to send a message to another will make the board or stick, explain what it means to the messenger, so when he arrives he will use it as a guide to his memory. Message sticks are also used to identify the tribesmen that a ceremony is to be held, or to invite them to other types of gatherings. According to Father Worms, this message board, called "Tambul" was given to a boy for his initiation. The trip was to alert and invite members of the clan and blood relatives that the ceremony was to be held. The board is ornamented with parrot feathers. The totemic symbol of the boy is painted with ochres; in this case, the Barramundi and the Portugese man-of-war fish. Before he makes his trip, the meaning of the rangga emblem and designs are explained to the boy. These totemic emblems will also be a feature of the initiation ceremonies. Exhibited: Lowie: R.H. Lowie Museum, Univ. of California at Berkley. 1969. Cat.
Field: Field Museum, Chicago. 1972. Cat.
Message Board
Artist/Maker and role
ABADJERA: artist
ochres on wood, plant fibre string, fibre cords, feathers, resin
36.4 x 15.0 cm
Credit line
Purchased through the Western Australian Government, 1988
The State Art Collection, The Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession number

View all works by ABADJERA (Australian, b.1904)

This is one of the ceremonial artefacts in our collection.