Prominent ornamental combs were worn by men across the south-eastern Solomon Islands. They are made by spreading black palm spines and tying them in place to form the teeth before weaving complex designs into the handles in fine yellow, black and red plant stem fibres. Each pattern has a name.
Top: A wagtail handle comb called kwaio fala’e with a single handle (a Wagtail being a small bird that spreads it tail wide as a defence and courting display).Length 18 cm, 7 ½ inches
Bottom: A double wagtail comb, kwaio fala’e featuring two forked elements in the handle.
Length 19cm / 7 ¼ inches/
Reference: Body Ornaments of Malaita and the Solomon Islands by Ben Burt, British Museum, 2009.