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Rare Small Nambas headdress for a grade society ceremony, Malekula. (FIR)

Small Nambas women have their own version of the Mangki or grade society which runs parallel to that of the men of the village.

These woven basketry dance head dresses, called Negante, are worn by the women taking new grades taking during the ceremony, which lasts several days. The headdresses resembles a small basket which then sub-divides into a number of hollow cylinders about half way along its length, each finished with a fringe of dried pendanus leaves, with the woven area painted in orange and black ochres. The number of crests indicates the grade rank about to be taken by the new initiate and this example has three cylinders and crests.

There are three examples collected for the NGA at Memenboas Village circa 1970 by Charpentier that have differing numbers of cylinders tubes at the top ( ref. artsearch.nga.gov.au/Detail.cfm?IRN=49853.

These headdresses are made for each individual camndidate before the ceremony and are worn on the last day when the new rank is atained. Size: 28 x 44 cm / 11 x 17 1/2 inches.

Price: 230.00 AUD
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