Chris Boylan Oceanic Art

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M23 "Rom" Mask, Vanuatu

Ambrym Island, Vanuatu

Early to mid-20th Century.  Ex-German collection, Ex-Marc Lissauer, Melbourne.

The tapa masks of Nissan island are rare pieces, called Tadak, and made for the final phase of the mortuary ceremony. Bark, usually from a breadfruit tree was stretched over a cane framework; sometimes like this one also lining the inside. Only men wore these masks, covering their bodies with bark strips or leaves to appear as “spirits”.

A very similar mask, now in the St Louis Art Museum, USA, is published in Anthony Meyer’s book “Oceanic Art”, Konneman, 1995.

Size: 87 x 24 x 28 cm

Price: $3500

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