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Antique Oceanic Art and Tribal Artifacts

OC470: Large Vanuatu Mask

OC470: Large Vanuatu Mask

A very large and old mask from the island of Malakula, Vanuatu. This large double faced mask was held on top of the head, and used in circumcision ceremonies. The main structure is made of giant fern wood that is covered with clay and natural pigments. There are three boars tusks and one that is made of bent bamboo or rattan. The clay is cracked, but pretty stable, though the overall piece is fragile.     

Previously in the collection of James Byrnes (1917-2011) who had a long career in the museum world. He started as a curator at the Los Angeles County Museum 1946, then the director of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center in 1954, then the Associate Director of North Carolina, Raleigh in 1956. In 1960 Byrnes became the Director of the New Orleans Museum, and then from 1972 to 1975 the Director of the Newport Harbor Art Museum in California. In 1989 he was the emeritus director of the New Orleans Museum. He was very much into contemporary art, but also had a key role in bringing ethnographic art into the museum.

35" Tall with a 11" Diameter. Early 20th century, Malakula, Vanuatu.    ....$2800.00

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