Art/ Collection/ Art Object

House Post

late 19th–early 20th century
Solomon Islands, Santa Ana Island, Makira-Ulawa province, Auguena village
Santa Ana Island
H. 79 1/2 in. (201.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Dr. Martin and Suzanne Schulman, 1986
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 354
Many peoples in the eastern Solomon Islands construct elaborate feast houses and canoe houses supported by carved wood posts. The imagery of the posts frequently, as here, incorporates anthropomorphic figures depicting supernatural beings or individuals associated with specific historical events. The male figure on this post is shown in a seated position, with a shark, a creature intimately associated with the spirit world, carved in relief on his back. A pair of curved motifs, possibly stylized seabirds, appears above his forehead. The larger crescents above do not represent a headdress but instead echo the form of the rounded notch in the top of the post, which once held one of the horizontal beams that helped support the roof.
Pierre Langlois, Paris, from 1960 until after 1966; Martin L. and Suzanne Schulman, Great Neck, NY, until 1986

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