Solomon Islands Carved Head for The Australian Museum


Carved HEad Video

This 'tattooed' chalk head from the Manning Strait in the Solomon Islands represents a Tindalo - the spirit of a dead man who, in his lifetime, possessed great mana or power. It was traditionally placed in a sacred spot associated with the man. The Australian Museum acquired the head in 1911 from Mr Percy Black, a shipping company employee. It is smaller than it looks at 150mm high and 90mm wide.

Back when WebGL wasn't a thing, and when the Australian Museum was scanning some of their objects on their new 3d scanner, they asked us how to get these objects on to their website. Due to the high resolution scans they were producing, and the nascient nature of WebGL at the time, we proposed beautiful 3d renderings instead which would be able to play on any web browser. We only ended up doing one for them: it's still one of our favourites!