The Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas
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Oceania
Ambrym Island, Vanuatu
Figure for a Men’s Society
Fernwood, clay
H. 38 1/4 in. (97.2 cm)
Raymond and Laura Wielgus Collection
Indiana University Art Museum, 63.285


Large anthropomorphic sculptures are associated with associations that dominated the political, social, and religious lives of men in Vanuatu. Associated with ancestors, many of the figures, including this one, originally had the shredded-wheatlike texture of the fernwood covered with clay, creating a smooth surface for paint or other decoration.