Hat mask from Vanuatu in Solomon Is.

Last night I watched Antiques Roadshow and was surprised to see a mask similar to this one, which comes from Oceanic Arts Australia. Authentic tribal masks are seldom seen on TV shows, or anywhere else, for that matter.

This beautiful older and used ceremonial mask is from the Namba People from the interior of Malekula Island in Vanuatu. In 1986 trips were made to Vanuatu to look at traditional art and culture. The people took us into their homes, fed us and gave us a chance to get to know them and make contacts with tradition artists preparing for ceremony. This beautiful hat mask came from the village of Venamboas in the interior from the SW Bay Area of Malekula island. The mask is made from a bamboo frame and covered in a type of bush rope in a vegetable fibre paste that is regularly used in artworks from Malekula. The ochre painted design stands out dramatically, giving the mask a vibrant feeling. A, 1769

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