Malaita, Solomon Islands
Woven fiber, fern tree
Early 20th century
Height: 8 ¼ in. (21 cm)
Collected in 1936 by Mr. Matheson
Ex Sotheby’s 27 October 1996, lot 483
Ex collection Daalder, Adelaide, Australia
Ethnic Jewellery and Adornment, Truus Daalder, Ethnic Art Press, 2009, p. 152
These ornaments were worn by men/warriors as a sign of prestige.
The teeth of this comb are made from split sections of the core of tree ferns. They are bound with a highly refined plaiting (called boré) made of red and yellow strips. The yellow pigments is made from natural orchid vine while the red dye comes from boiling vine in a bamboo container with an extract of morinda root.