comb (hair ornaments)

36.158

This early 20th century wooden splint comb is usually worn by men on the island of Malaita in the Solomon Islands. Its splints are secured by basketry and wood, Nautilus shell inlay set in parinarium nut resin and basketry at its base. The separate sticks are bound and patterned with red and yellow vine-strip, large type, curved to the head. Combs of this general type are characteristic of Malaita, the larger curved ones, especially, of north Malaita. The red vine-strip is coconut-frond cuticle stained with Indian Mulberry (Morinda), and the yellow is orchid stem. The comb was donated to the Museum in 1936 by Mrs A. Bellamy along with several other items that included combs, ear pins, a shield, a dancing club and shell money.

Comb ornament of separate sticks bound and patterned with red and yellow vine-strip, large type, curved to the head. Combs of this general type are characteristic of Malaita, the larger curved ones especially of north Malaita. The red vine-strip is coconut-frond cuticle stained with Indian Mulberry (Morinda), the yellow is orchid stem. See Burt, Akin and Kaw’ioloa, 2009, which describes the manufacture for the smaller combs in Kwaio researched by David Akin.

Collection Information

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