A Fine Old Solomon Islands War Club Kwiao People Malaita Island Solomon’s
A Fine Old War Club from the Kwiao People in the interior of Malaita Island in the Solomon Islands Dating from 19th to Early 20th Century
This fine old Subi Club was collected from the Kwiao People who historically lived in small, autonomous groups in the interior of the large island of Malaita. Their religion was heavily based on ancestral deities and their maintenance of moral standards within the community. I was very lucky to be invited by Kwiao men to visit some of their remote villages in the interior of Malaita in 1986, it was a rough two-day walk from the coast and you could only visit there by invite otherwise you would definitely not be welcome. These are proud people who have kept their traditional life through the 20th century as all of their coastal neighbors had converted to Christianity.
The Subi Club is, in my opinion, one of the most elegant-shaped clubs in the Pacific Islands. The diamond-shaped Club head with medial ridges and long tapering handle ends in a small crescent shape. The Handle is bound with bush fibre rope to keep your hand from slipping when sweaty.
This club was bought in the village from an old man. I have kept it for nearly 40 years. The form is slightly irregular as with many of the oldest clubs. Now in the Solomon Islands, many new clubs are made for the tourist market but they have none of the elegance of the old used clubs.
I have put a field photo above from that trip in 1986, this is not the same club that the man is holding but is a very similar old club.
Provenance The Todd Barlin Collection of Solomon Islands Art & Oceanic & Pacific Islands Art
I first went to Papua New Guinea in 1985 for an adventure & what I found was that I really enjoyed being with the people of New Guinea, over the next 38 years I spent extensive time spent collecting and documenting traditional art & ceremonies in remote areas of Papua New Guinea & West Papua, The Solomon Islands & Vanuatu & the other Pacific Islands countries. During these travels, I made major collections of New Guinea & Oceanic Art for major Museums and Public Art Galleries
I was honoured by being in the prestigious Louvre Museum Magazine for the collections I made for The Museum of African & Oceanic Art Paris in1996 (now the Musee Quai Branly) for the exhibition “Asmat et Mimika d’ Irian Jaya April 1996 At THE MUSEE NATIONAL des ARTS D’AFRIQUE et d’ OCEANIE, Paris
See all of the links & photos in my new EXHIBITIONS GALLERY and there is the link to the article in the prestigious Louvre Magazine 1996
I have artwork for Museums & Art Galleries but also for collectors at every stage of their collecting. I want to encourage people to explore the fine art of New Guinea & West Papua and the Pacific Islands and to be able to see and touch the artworks in a relaxed and friendly manner in my Sydney Gallery. I would like to invite you to visit my gallery and see the artworks in person and also look at my website www.oceanicartsaustralia.com where there are many Galleries & Sub Galleries to explore.
My Gallery of nearly 40 years is the last physical gallery in Sydney that specialises in New Guinea & Oceanic Art. Sydney is just a couple hours’ flight to New Guinea & the Pacific Islands where all of these amazing artworks came from, Australia’s closest neighbours.
To see many more rare items and the finest masterpieces, please make an appointment with us to visit the gallery.
For all inquiries, please contact us.