The Call of Garamut

The garamut is a slit gong made out of wood. The instrument is widely used in Melanesian cultures. Garamuts are used for traditional dancing and performances. It is also used to call and gather. Communities used the garamut to call meetings, call school children to classrooms and congregations to churches.

Picture by Pioneer Bible Translators. Calling his congregation to church; one of the most common uses of garamuts.

In Papua New Guinea the instrument, depends on its size and how shallow the slit is, gives a distinctive sound. It can also be played very rhythmically and the sounds makes you want to dance.

A garamut in Brooklyn Museum.

In the first video clip, I am delighted to show my own people dancing the siak, a slow motion dance in Salamaua, Morobe Province. A single and sometimes two garamuts would lead the siak accompanying kundu drums. Pay attention to the sound of the garamut – the largest wooden instrument in background.

The second video below is from Manus Province. For their performances, Manus dancing requires a collection of garamuts of various sizes and played together. The biggest drum (deepest) leads the rhythm and song.

New Artwork – Swimming Together

Swimming Together series – JLeahy©

Pencil and Ink drawing by JLeahy ©

I joined the through a blogger friend Tibaraphoto and tried to set up a website to sell my art. I am not a technology-clued person, and while I love the convenience of it, technology often drives me crazy. In Papua New Guinea pidgin we say, mi foul ya! which means, I am fouled. I am also not good with reading ten million instructions in several layers. I like instructions to be simple.

Anyway, you may have seen a link on my blog : Tribalmysticart on the left side bar and tried to click it several times, and it did not take you anywhere. That’s because it is only a counter for visitors. I have NOT uploaded any art nor given you a link yet. On Zazzle, I got confused about how to upload, then the commissions and so on. I am almost ready to build that store.

Swimming Together series – JLeahy©

Tribalmysticart counter recorded 6,700 plus clicks. To those people who clicked, I apologise. My art will come soon. Please be patient.  I am sharing some of the new artwork that will go on Zazzle. Please wish me luck and stay tune. If you are interested in any of these work, let me know.

Swimming Together series – JLeahy©

Discovered Human Bone Uses : Home-ware?

New research offers the best evidence yet that cannibalism took place in Somerset’s Cheddar Gorge 15,000 years ago

The Independent UK reported that scientists investigating a system of caves in Somerset have found new evidence that shows our human ancestors engaged in cannibalism in Britain – and that no part of their victims was wasted.

A research team from the Natural History Museum and University College London have used modern carbon-dating techniques to establish that remains in Gough’s Cave at the mouth of Cheddar Gorge were all left there over just a few seasons around 15,000 years ago.

But more alarming is what was done to the bones before they were deposited. Find out here

Feeling the Music – short story

Monday Finish the Story. Hosted by Barbara W. Beacham

Picture by Barbara W. Beacham

Feeling the Music © JLeahy

“Are you laughing at me?” Enoch asked me. His voice quivered and softened at the end of his question. Self pity.

“No! I love the orchids. They are beautiful.”

I looked at him, the sincerity in his large brown eyes made me want to laugh again, but I stopped myself. Without the harshness of the piercings in his nose and above his brows, and his terrible haircut, you could call him handsome.

“How did you afford this?”

“Oh, I had some money; my casual job.”

I looked at this 18-year-old boy and wondered what his parents would think, especially his mother – if she knew he was chasing his middle-aged music teacher. I held the orchids closer and observed the silky tenderness in its intricate layers of petals. I knew these flowers so well.

Each morning, I admired them as I passed the flowers at the front of the principal’s office.

(150 words)

Indigenous Australia Exhibition Opens in British Museum

Discover the remarkable story of one of the world’s oldest continuing cultures in this major exhibition.

The show is the first major exhibition in the UK to present a history of Indigenous Australia through objects, celebrating the cultural strength and resilience of both Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders. This culture has continued for over 60,000 years in diverse environments which range from lush rainforest and arid landscapes to inland rivers, islands, seas and urban areas today. Hundreds of different Indigenous groups live across this vast continent, each with their own defined areas, languages and traditions. The exhibition runs from 23 April – 2 August 2015.

And here is another view of the exhibition has sparked.

Exhibition Sparks Protests

Published on Apr 23, 2015 (YouTube)
On 21 April 2015, the British Museum’s BP-sponsored ‘Indigenous Australia: enduring civilisation’ press launch was disrupted by activists, criticising oil sponsorship and calling for the repatriation of stolen indigenous objects.

British Museum Link

ANZAC Centenary

Today ABC reported: Thousands of people have attended Anzac Day dawn services at Gallipoli and Villers-Bretonneux to mark exactly 100 years since Australian and New Zealand troops came ashore. Here is more on the history of ANZAC from a fellow blogger.

Thank you for sharing this post, Pacificparatrooper

Pacific Paratrooper

James Charles Martin (1901-1915), youngest Australian KIA at Gallipoli James Charles Martin (1901-1915), youngest Australian KIA at Gallipoli

Anzac Centenary

Between 2014 and 2018 Australia and New Zealand will commemorate the Anzac Centenary, marking 100 years since their  involvement in the First World War.

Gallipoli today Gallipoli today

The Anzac Centenary is a milestone of special significance to all Australians and New Zealanders.  The First World War helped define them as a people and as nations.

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During the Anzac Centenary they will remember not only the original ANZACs who served at Gallipoli and the Western Front, but commemorate more than a century of service by Australian and New Zealand servicemen and women. [And I hope other nations will as well.]


The Anzac Centenary Program encompasses all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which they have been involved.   And to honour all those who have worn the uniforms.  The programs involved with the Centenary urge all to reflect on their military…

View original post 146 more words

Cool Stuff: Living Grass Art

25.08.79 #2, 2010, soil, wheat seeds, recycled metal, fabric, 110 x 90 x 40 cm. Exhibited at The Invisible Dog Art Center, NY.

Mathilde Roussel is a French artist. Based in Paris, Roussel works in various materials for her sculptures but one of her most remembered work is the Living Grass. This collection shows the transformation of soil wheat and seeds, fabric and recycled material to show the effects of transformation of material as a metaphor of the human body. After installation, the figures transform over the period of exhibition showing. Time sculpts the forms, makes them change and then decay.

For more of the grass sculptures. The artist’s statement can be read here

25.08.79 #1 and #2, 2010, soil, wheat seeds, recycled metal, fabric, 170 x 150 x 60 cm and 110 x 90 x 40 cm. Exhibited at The Invisible Dog Art Center, NY.


Mathilde Roussel

The Sacrifice

Monday Finish the Story with host Barbara W. Beacham

Picture: Barbara Beacham

The Sacrifice © JLeahy  

They followed the buffaloes and their babies along the trail heading into the woods. At trail end Aka ran forward and sliced the youngest calf and wrenched out its heart.

The calf gave a horrifying shrill and fell back; the rest dashed for the woods.

Blood spurted in a red fountain, saturating the soft green bushes, ground and his shirt.

“Look! Look Ahwen, it’s still beating”, he said mesmerized by the throbbing organ in his bloody hand.

I staggered back against the old rain tree. I stared at the convulsing calf beside his leg.

“Why did you do that, why?” I shouted.

I AM a warrior,” he said.

“A warrior ONLY kills for food.”

“We can take this calf to eat.”

“It’s not ours, it belongs to the sanctuary”, I looked at the cluster of houses at the head of the trail. Soon, someone will know.

“Let’s leave!” I ordered.

(150 words)

The Tannery – Short Film

A fox has a life after death experience.

The video was commissioned by 4mations for Channel 4 – Music by Mick Cooke – A UK Film Council, Scottish Screen, DigiCult and Channel 4 Presentation Developed by DigiCult and Lupus Films.

The Mighty Sandow: How the world’s strongest man wowed Australian audiences in 1902

Infographic: A fold-out of Eugen Sandow’s arm from his 1902 book The Gospel of Truth

ABC reported this fascinating story about one of the earlier body builders of our time. I was particularly interested in the long strong arm because my own is not working very well at the moment, especially with ‘writers’ elbow’.

The most interesting thing about this story is the first paragraph…

His first Sydney appearance promised he would exhibit his “400 phenomenally developed” muscles, tear packs of playing cards in half, and lift – at arm’s length – a grand piano on which a musician was performing, and support on his chest “a platform (weighing 800lbs/363kg) on which three horses play at see-saw”.

With his golden curls, waxed moustache and bulging muscles, Eugen Sandow cut quite a figure when he performed in Australia in 1902.

Born Friedrich Wilhelm Mueller in Prussia in 1867, Sandow was billed as the strongest man on earth and has come to be regarded as the father of body building.

The National Library of Australia (NLA) has a collection of material related to his Australian tour, including handbills, newspaper reports and a local edition of his book The Gospel of Strength, which included exercises that outlined Sandow’s theories on physical culture.