Two Fine Old Hair Comb Ornaments Malaita Island Solomon Islands19th Century
|Size||18cm to 21cm|
These two very beautiful old Hair Comb Ornaments are from Malaita Island in the Solomon Islands.
The combs are decorated with woven red & yellow orchid stems to make fine geometric designs on the front of the combs.
The combs were made in the late 19th Century, they were worn in the hair as ornaments and sometimes they had feathers or colored fiber attached to the tops of the comb. They were called Kafa Gwaroa Doe. These I field collected in the remote Kwaio area in central Malaita 40 years ago.
The Solomon Islands are famous for the very finely made ornaments like these Hair Combs.
Fine Comb Ornaments like these and Shell Money Ornaments are an important type of traditional currency in the Solomon Islands and throughout the Pacific Island in general. Traditional wealth objects like these were often part of a bridal dowry or used payments for compensation in disputes about land or gardens. Each family had some hair comb ornaments and sets of shell money ornaments that were worn on important ceremonial occasions. The two old field photos both show men wearing combs in their hair.
Provenance: The Todd Barlin Collection of Solomon Islands Art
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