Solomon Islands Male Portrait Figure (SF021)

Description of item:






























Beautiful stylized realistic male portrait figure holding a Kokorra dance paddle in the left hand and a ribbed paddle club in the right hand; wearing traditional loincloth, shell inlay eyes; 19th century woven armbands and hairstyle; 1920’s.


Height: 35 cm (13.7 inches)

​Width: 10 cm (4 inches)


Artists from the Solomon Islands group produced some of the finest & most diverse human 3D figures of all the ethnographic arts. The Solomon Islands portrait figures that are realist and dynamic appear to be a far less common genre than the more well known rigid formalized & stylized portrait statues from Buka & Bougainville. It is possible they may have served a very different social & ritual role in the Solomon Islands than the more commonly known forms of sculpture.


Waite, D. ‘Art of the Solomon Islands: from the collection of the Barbier-Müller Museum’, (1983: Plates 3, 14, 17).

McCarthy, F. ‘The Human Sculptures of the Solomon Islands’. (1951: The Australian Museum Magazine, Vol. X., No. 5. 139-143).


Early NZ collection;

Geoffrey Hales, Melbourne, Australia;

Arthur Palmer, Brisbane, Australia.



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