Lot: 47

97th Auction

Dance crest "rom heb’ror’r’"

Vanuatu, Malampa Province, Ambrym Island

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
coll. in situ by an Antwerp sea captain in 1959
Rik van Aerschot (1928-2012), Brussels (Vrije Universiteit), Belgium
Herma Visser, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Srdjan Sremac, The Hague, The Netherlands
H: 13.8 inch This object is not available anymore.

palm leaf fibres, vegetable paste, red ochre, indigo blue pigment, banana fibres, base

Such masks are part of an elaborate system of masks and hats worn by members of the secret men's organizations that regulate almost all aspects of social life in Vanuatu.

Each grade or rank within these societies has its own mask type. When they are in use, the masks are believed to provide a temporary resting place for the spirits of immediate ancestors, most specifically, the grandfather.