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Kastom

Arts of Vanuatu

written by Crispin Howarth

New South | ISBN 9780642334336

Paperback – 96 pages

$39.95

Member’s price: $35.96
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Kastom: Arts of Vanuatu showcases a unique collection of the National Gallery of Australia. During the early 1970s an impressive array of traditional arts through a program of field collecting on the Islands of Ambrym and Malakula. Central to many traditional practices, better known as Kastom, are masked performances and displays of sculpture including iconic upright slit drums. Even after a century of dual colonial and Christian religious influences kastom remains strong in Vanuatu. A selection of these intensely visual works created for ritual events realised in wood, over-modelled with clay, feathers, pig tusks, stone and other surprising mediums such as tree fern are discussed and it is surprising to learn these arts are remarkably unchanged to those from over a century ago as kastom is an inseparable part of Ni-Vanuatu culture.

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