Effigy Figure (Rambaramp)
Arts of the Pacific Islands
Wood, fiber, mud, pigment, bone, shell, boar's tusks
60 5/8 x 25 3/16 x 8 11/16 in. (154 x 64 x 22 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Gift of Dr. Samuel Eilenberg, by exchange and Mary Smith Dorward Fund
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Malakula. Effigy Figure (Rambaramp), before 1880. Wood, fiber, mud, pigment, bone, shell, boar's tusks, 60 5/8 x 25 3/16 x 8 11/16 in. (154 x 64 x 22 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Dr. Samuel Eilenberg, by exchange and Mary Smith Dorward Fund, 2006.41. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2006.41_PS6.jpg)
overall, 2006.41_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
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This male figure is made primarily of fiber over a wood and wicker frame. The entire body and skull are painted with red, white, blue, and black pigments, primarily in stripes but also including triangular and diamond shape designs on the lower legs. Each articulated hand holds a seashell. Each shoulder has an abstracted face which incorporates boar's tusks. More boar's tusks are incorporated on the arms as "wrist bracelets" and bands on the upper arms. These rambaramp figures are made as effigies to commemorate the grade a man has received during his lifetime. It is capped with the decorated skull of the deceased as a symbol of great honor. The skull was believed to contain his spirit and the encasing of it and creation of a body was to give dignity to that spirit .Other paraphrenalia are mirrored precisously on the figure as tributes to the rank and prestige that he achieved in life. After making the figure, a series of ceremonial observations would take place over twenty years to strengthen his spirit before it would be removed finally from the Custom House. The figure is mounted on an iron stand. CONDITION: Overall condition is good but entire object is very fragile.
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