A Very Rare Vanuatu, New Hebrides, Man's Loin Block
A Very Rare Vanuatu, New Hebrides, Man's Loin Block

A Very Rare Vanuatu, New Hebrides, Man's Loin Block

1800 to 1900 Vanuatu, New Hebrides

Offered by Finch & Co

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A Very Rare Vanuatu, New Hebrides, Man’s Loin Block
Wood, fibre, glass beads and shell discs
19th Century

Size: 31 cm wide, 41 cm long – 12¼ ins wide, 16¼ ins long
cf a similar example AM 3996 James Edge-Partington collection
From Espritu Santo, Vanuatu, these unique and curious loin blocks were worn by men as a form of costume over their loin cloths. The carved wooden ovoid shape or block was held with a string around the waist so that it rested horizontally at the rear above the buttocks. The loop of shell and glass bead ornamented fibre would hang down as a bundle over the front of the man's pubic mat. It is no longer known what the original purpose of these blocks was, but it has been suggested that it was used as a seat when the wearer sat on damp ground.
Dimensions
Width 31.00 cm (12.20 inches)
Medium
Wood, fibre, glass beads and shell discs
Finch & Co

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