< Back

A Fine Vanuatu Old Food Platter Santo Island Vanuatu

Enquire About This Artworks >
Collection No. TB-2646
Size Length: 111cm x width 32cm
New Guinea & Oceanic Art
The Art of Compassion The Todd Barlin Collection
New Guinea Oceanic Art
Abelam New Guinea Art

A Fine Vanuatu Old Food Platter Santo Island Vanuatu

This beautiful old food platter from Vanuatu was used during ceremonial occasions to share food between families and clans. I am guessing it is from Espiritu Santo Island in Samna Province in Northern Vanuatu. (if I am wrong on this can you please let me know what Island in Vanuatu it is from ? )

Carved from a single piece of hardwood the bowl or platter is in an oval form with a forked finial, the bottom of the platter has two legs that run horizontally across the bowl. During special ceremonies, the shallow bowl was used to prepare and serve a traditional food called Nalot a pudding made from Yam, Taro & breadfruit, and other ingredients.  I had this on a few occasions while in Vanuatu and it was very delicious.

Many of Vanuatu cultures have complex men’s secret societies, which involve a series of ritual “grades” through which individuals pass, by means of initiation rites, festivals, and pig sacrifices, in order to achieve increasing religious and social status. Special ritual objects were made & used for these secret men’s societies.

Provenance:  From the collection of the late David Baker (1943-2009 ) who was the president of The Oceanic Arts Society of Australia and was a great collector, expert & supporter of Oceanic Art & Cultures.

The Todd Barlin Collection of New Guinea Vanuatu Oceanic Art 

I made several trips to Vanuatu in the 1980’s visiting Pentecost Island, Malekula Island, Vao & Actin Islands and Ambrym, everywhere I went people were so friendly warm kind and hospitable when staying with families. Above are a couple of field photos from those visits.

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.

For all inquiries, please contact us.