- Museum number
Bamboo-stick ornament for the ear, patterned with plaited vine-strip of red and yellow
Length: 18 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- This type of ear ornament, worn usually in a hole in the earlobe, is characteristic of Malaita, known in Kwara'ae language as 'patterned bamboo' (fa'i 'au gwaroa) or 'reed' (fa'i rade). The red is coconut-frond cuticle stained with Indian Mulberry (Morinda), the yellow is orchid stem. The register entry "nose ornament" is probably a mistake, although such ornaments were sometimes worn through the nose. (See Ben Burt (2008) 'Body Ornaments of Malaita.')
The register gives Ivens' collection as: Mostly Mala or Ulawa S. E. SOLOMONS
and refers to his book 'Melanesians of the Southeast Solomon Islands' which deals with Sa'a in south Malaita and Ulawa. This implies that the provenance was a curatorial deduction and, although many of the artefacts are south Malaita / Ulawa in style, some could equally be from north Malaita, where he also researched, in Lau.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Mrs Eleanor Ivens, the widow of Rev W G Ivens of the Melanesian Mission, gave her husband's collection of Solomon Islands artefacts to the British Museum after his death in 1940.
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number