An image of Grade society figure (Male half figure)

Unknown Artist

Grade society figure (Male half figure)

Other titles:
Carved figure (Grade-symbol of a male half figure)
Not on display
Further information

The tree fern (Cycas) is one of the most sacred plants in Vanuatu. Its importance is such that it figures in the country's coat of arms. The starchy pith of the plant provides a flour similar to that of the sago palm.

Other parts of the tree are used in medicinal preparations intended to treat poisonous bites. Images carved out of the trunk are important symbols at funeral ceremonies, and other totems are used to delimit sacred areas.

© Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2005

Place of origin
Ambrym Island, Malampa Province, Republic of Vanuatu
Cultural origin
Ambrym people
carved Cycas (tree fern)
80.0 cm height
Purchased 1964
Accession number