Artist's cultural association:
Malakula (Malekula) Island region
Puxloelu 1972 Place made: Menmenboas Village, Malakula Island, Malampa Province, Vanuatu Melanesia
Materials & Technique: sculptures, tree fern, clay, ochre
It is surprising that one of the most vividly painted works in the collection was made for an early level in the grade system. Created from tree fern, over-modelled and painted, Puxloelu is significant to the second grade-level stage in Menmenboas village—it would have been placed near the pathway leading to the Namal men’s club house and, after its ceremonial use, would remain there until it decayed.
Entry to this grade required the possession of two pigs: one to be sacrificed with portions of it given to the ceremony’s audience and the other to be displayed, but kept alive, as a symbol of the individual’s wealth.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2013
From: Crispin Howarth Kastom: Art of Vanuatu National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2013