Janus Faced Spear Finial Malekula Island Vanuatu
This fine old Spear Ornament is from Malekula Island in Vanuatu. Collected in the late 19th Century which would make the Spear Ornament from the mid 19th Century or earlier. The actual full length spear would have been 3 meters long and near the top of the spear is where this ornament would be placed. Often the top of the head had a Sting Ray spine attached which gave it a sharp serrated point. The Janus Head represent ancestors who would give supernatural power to the spear and warrior. The faces are quite cubist looking with wide flaring nostrils, the side view shows both faces in profile and a concentric diamond design at the top of the sides of the head. These old ornaments were kept as family heirlooms when the spears were broken and no longer used. I have always thought that these faces look like Kanak Masks from New Caledonia.
Provenance Ex Tost & Rohu Collection Sydney Australia late 19th Century. Tost & Rohu were two women taxidermists selling stuffed native animals and native curios from the Pacific Islands,
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