Turtoiseshell and Fiber Fan
Fan from one of the Federated States of Micronesia, either Panape, Truk or Kosrae.At the beginning of the 20th century a rich fiber art tradition was evident there. All but lost now if not for some collecting missionaries.This fan, identical on both sides, is beautifully woevn and well preserved. It features a center of tortoise shell cut from the horny plates of the hawk bill turtle.The tortoise shell was then sanded smooth and holes were drilled in intervals for attaching the framework of the fan. Dyed fibers of coconut and pandanus were crocheted into intricate pattern around the center as well as on the handle.We like to thank Abbey Block Cash, the president of the Fan Association of NorthAmerica for helping us identify this fan.
Circa: Fist quarter 20th century
Origin: Ponape, Turk or Kosrae Islands, Micronesia
Material: Turtoiseshell, straw and coconut leaf
Dimensions: 14" x 9"
Inventory number: MI1617