Overmodeled ancestor skull - Vanuatu

Ref : Vanuatu 24

Overmodeled ancestor skull - Vanuatu

Human ancestor skull overmodeled with vegetal matter and painted with natural pigments, presumably part of a complete ancestor effigie. The body consist of a cane frame overmodeled with vegetale-fiber paste, subsequently it was painted and decorated with bark belt, breast ornaments, shells etc. The head after all is the overmodeled skull of the ancestor himself, these ancestor effigies were called "Rambaramp". Traditionally they were displayed shortly after the passing of a regarded individual in the ceremonial house of his village. With the fading of memory the figures evidently lost their meaning; they were thrown out and given away or sold later on. Even individual skulls were kept in reminiscence of deceased persons and on special occasions were taken along to the ceremonial places.
This skull was collected by a french official during the 60's in Malekula island.


Litterature : Felix Speiser " Ethonology of Vanuatu"


Estimated age : 1920-40