Turtoiseshell and Fiber Fan
Fan from one of the Federated States of Micronesia, either Ponape,Truk or Kosrae.At the beginning of the 20th century a rich fiber art tradition was evident there and it is all but lost now if not for travelling missionaries who collected some of the work.This fan, identical on both sides, is beautifully woven and 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 North America for helping us identify this fan.
Circa: First Quarter 20th century
Origin: Ponape, Truk Or Kosrae Islands, Micronesia
Material: Turtoiseshell, straw, Coconut leaves
Condition: Minor bleeding to blue dye of straw, excellent
Dimensions: 14" x 9"
Inventory number: MI1616