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A Fine Old Vanuatu Ceremonial Head Malekula Island Vanuatu

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Collection No. SOLD
Size Height 26cm Without stand
New Guinea Oceanic Art
New Guinea & Oceanic Art
Abelam New Guinea Art
Asian Buddhist Art

A Fine Old Vanuatu Ceremonial Head Malekula Island Vanuatu

This beautiful used ceremonial Head was collected on Malekula Island in 1987. The guy in the photo Kaiar was the artist who made these amazing artworks. Made from a vegetable fibre paste that goes hard after mixing it and spider webs and decorated with boards tusks and ochre painting. This little artwork has been a bright spot in my home for a very long time.

In SW Malekula Island these Puppet Heads are known as “Temes Nevimbur” They are used during important ceremonies by members of a secret society, such as “Nevimbur”.  The Puppet Heads are seen from behind the community dancing ground fence (a sacred area).   Many of these ceremonies celebrate the attainment of higher status within the secret societies known as “grade taking ” or taking of a higher title.  Merit rather than birth determines the grade or rank of an individual within these societies. A man with strong determination can be elevated over a lifetime to the status on a living deity. Pigs are crucial to obtaining the higher status for the highest levels of the secret society, dozens of full circle tusked pigs are needed to be sacrificially killed on a single occasion to take the next level or grade within the society.

On a custom-made stand for easy display.

Provenance: The Todd Barlin Collection of Oceanic and Vanuatu Art


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