Ndram tan mwilip
c.1970 Description: coloured with red, black, brown and grey ochres
Place made: Menmenboas Village, Malakula Island, Malampa Province, Vanuatu Melanesia
Materials & Technique: sculptures, shell, clay, boar tusks, feathers, ochre
This second work associated with the yam ceremony of Menmenboas village would have been created for display during the time that yams can be eaten. Only a few of these figures, modelled onto a triton shell for its base, exist. The Ndram tan mwilip’s form, according to Charpentier, symbolises a yam pushing through the earth during its growth stage. 
 J-M Charpentier, New Hebrides field collection 1972-73 card index, no.158, National Gallery of Australia.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2013
From: Crispin Howarth Kastom: Art of Vanuatu National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2013