Artist's cultural association:
Vimpuri 1972 Place made: Tomman Island, Malampa Province, Vanuatu Melanesia
Materials & Technique: sculptures, tree fern, clay, boar tusks
Worn over the head of a male performer, this mask would transform the dancer into a dangerous spirit being to be feared and respected. The small figure represents the child of the spirit being, and is associated with Nalawan ceremonial events. The authority to create a Vimpuri can only be granted after offering four to five pigs to a man who has previously created such a mask.
When the spirit being is danced, part of the performance includes sacrificing a small pig with a hammer and using a spear to kill a larger pig. This Nalawan ceremony is very similar to a grade-system event.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2013
From: Crispin Howarth Kastom: Art of Vanuatu National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2013