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.
Carved figure (Grade-symbol of a male half figure)
Grade society figure (Male half figure)
mid 20th century
carved Cycas (tree fern)
79.0 x 25.0 x 31.5 cm
Not on display
© Ni-Vanuatu people, under the endorsement of the Pacific Islands Museums Association's (PIMA) Code of Ethics