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Title

Grade society figure (Male half figure)


Artists

Unknown Artist


About

The tree fern (Cycas) is one of the most sacred plants in Vanuatu. Its importance is such that it figures in the country's coat of arms. The starchy pith of the plant provides a flour similar to that of the sago palm.

Other parts of the tree are used in medicinal preparations intended to treat poisonous bites. Images carved out of the trunk are important symbols at funeral ceremonies, and other totems are used to delimit sacred areas.

© Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2005


Details


Other Title

Carved figure (Grade-symbol of a male half figure)


Place where the work was made

Ambrym (Ambrim) Island Vanuatu


Cultural origin

Ambrym people


Media category

Sculpture


Materials used

carved Cycas (tree fern)


Dimensions

80.0 cm height


Credit

Purchased 1964


Location

Not on display


Accession number

IA4.1964



Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 2 publications

Bibliography


Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1964 Acquisitions, Sydney, 1964, 63. cat.no. 115

Tony Tuckson, Aboriginal and Melanesian art, Sydney, 1973, 41. cat.no. 2