Efate, Vanuatu, Melanesia
Late 19th to early 20th century
Carved hardwood. The feathers are a later replacement.
1 1/8” in diameter; 15 ½” in length.
This was carved from one piece of hardwood. It is a decorative ornament, rather than a functional comb. The long teeth are arranged in a circle designed to slide into the male wearer’s thick hairdo and stay in place as an ornament.
The various designs of this type of comb may have related to the hierarchy of chiefly titles in traditional Efate society.
See ‘Pacific Jewelry and Adornment’ by Roger Neich and Fuli Pereira (Honolulu, 2004), pp. 132-133 for a similar example.
Ex- Norman Hurst. Published in ‘Power and Prestige’ by Norman Hurst (Cambridge, MA, 1996), p.49
Price on request.
Inventory no. 6589
19 August 2018