Joel METAK, Kailap Enlarge 1 /1



Artist's cultural association:
Malakula (Malekula) Island region
Kailap 1972 Place made: Borumvor Village, Malakula Island, Malampa Province, Vanuatu Melanesia
Materials & Technique: sculptures, wood, clay, ochre, boar tusks

Dimensions: 119.0 h x 58.5 w x 15.0 d cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased by J-M Charpentier on behalf of the CAAB
Accession No: NGA 71.207.51

With upraised arms, this puppet-like figure—representing a young initiate in the Nalawan circumcision rites—is known in some areas by the name Kailap and, more generally, as Temes Nevimbur. Examples from central Malakula are painted with a limited palette of red, white and black ochres. Each initiated man had the right to create these. Sometimes these figures can be representative of particular young men, but they are essentially an impression of the ebullient life force within a youth. This work was created by Joel Metak, who often worked as a guide with Charpentier.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2013

From: Crispin Howarth Kastom: Art of Vanuatu National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2013