23 April 2008,
London, South Kensington
Price realised GBP 438
Estimate GBP 700 - GBP 1,000
R. Schmidt (early 20th Century)
A Tapu Virgin, British Solomon Islands
signed and dated 'R.SCHMIDT 1917' (lower left) with inscription 'A Tapu Virgin, British Solomon Islands at the launching of a new war canoe in New Georgia two virgins are taken from the tribe, one is publicly sacrificed, and the other kept in seclusion from 4 to 5 years. During this time an old woman acts as guard over her. Should she break the tabu she is put to death. The skulls on the sticks are a sign to all that if they molest her their heads will be stuck up in the same way. The object in the back-ground is a skull box. The large necklace is of dogs teeth.' on a paper label attached to the reverse
oil on board
16 3/8 x 12in. (41.7 x 30.5cm.)
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