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A Rare Vanuatu Ceremonial Mask Malekula Island Vanuatu Published

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Collection No. TB-3559
Size Height 66cm
New Guinea & Oceanic Art
New Guinea Oceanic Art
Abelam New Guinea Art

A Rare Vanuatu Ceremonial Mask Malekula Island Vanuatu

This beautiful older and used ceremonial mask is from the Small Namba People from the interior of Malekula Island in Vanuatu.  In 1986 and 1987 I made three trips to Vanuatu to look at traditional art and culture. The people in Vanuatu are so kind, helpful, and generous everywhere I went and stayed in Vanuatu I was treated this way.  People took me into their homes & fed me and gave me the chance to get to know people and make contacts with traditional artists preparing artwork for the ceremony.  This beautiful Hat Mask came from the village of Venamboas in the interior of the SW Bay Area of Malekula island.  It took a whole day to negotiate the visit to this village where I was given the chance to see & purchase some artworks including this Mask. The mask is made from a bamboo frame and covered in a type of bush rope & covered in a vegetable fibre paste that is regularly used in artworks from Malekula.  This mask I have kept for a long time (30 years) because all the years I have owned I enjoy looking at it each day. The ochre-painted designs give the mask a vibrant modernist feeling.

In the field photos above you can see the people who were there that day, the man in the photos made the Hat Mask in this listing his name was Kaiar

Provenance: The Todd Barlin Collection of New Guinea Oceanic Art 

Exhibited: Oceanic Arts Pacifica: Artworks from the Todd Barlin Collection at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre 2014 Sydney Australia

Published: Oceanic Arts Pacifica: Artworks from the Todd Barlin Collection at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre 2014 page 66

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 in 1996 (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.



If you have a similar “object” for sale please contact me for the best price and honest advice by a Government approved valuer 

To see many more rare items and the finest masterpieces, please make an appointment with us to visit the gallery.

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