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Title

Grade society figure (Male half figure)


Artist

Ni-Vanuatu people

Republic of Vanuatu


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.


Details


Other Title

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


Place where the work was made

Ambrym Island Malampa Province Republic of Vanuatu


Cultural origin

Ni-Vanuatu 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


Artist information

Ni-Vanuatu people

Works in the collection

1


Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 2 publications

Bibliography


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

1964 Acquisitions, Sydney, 1964, 63. cat.no. 115