Malagan figure (vivil simara)



A double Malagan carving, with one figure on top of another. Both figures are holding vertical struts which run the length of the carving and end in a pair of inwardly-curving 'ears' or feathers for the figure at the top. Each elbow is joined to the section below by other vertical struts. Both figures have plant fibre 'hair', and wide, rounded rectangular mouths. There is an unpainted peg at the base. The other surfaces are painted in black, red and white, and there are circular designs painted on the chests of the two figures. The eyes are sea snail operculae (the flaps that close the snails' shells). The master carver Edward Salle made this figure for a malagan feast in New Ireland in December 1996, probably to commemorate two people. The owner of the image is Ben Bialong of the Burbur clan.