Malagan, New Ireland, New Guinea Art, Oceanic Art, Tribal Art, South Pacific Art
Within the Malagan tradition on New Ireland this horizontal frieze called Vaval would have been used in a ceremony to end the taboos after a mourning period. As with this example these sculptures feature an auis bird biting the head of a samara snake (see Michael Gunn’s description of a similar example in Ritual Arts of Oceania: New Ireland in the Collections of the Barbier-Mueller Museum, 1997, no. 22, p. 106). The present piece was collected between 1907 and 1914 by the German colonial school headmaster and government newspaper editor Paul Barschdorff. Subsequently it has been in the Frank Reiter Collection in Berlin the past 50 years. The piece is 32 ¾” (83.2 cm) in width, dates to the late 19th/early 20th century and the price is available upon request. Questions?