Studio: international art — 88.1924

Page: 135
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THE ART OF THE TROBRIAND ISLANDERS

remarkable achievement. They were
delicately modelled with that simple
suggestion of form which is so much a
feature of Egyptian Art. The ornamental
details are sometimes relieved with black,
red, and white pigments, the white chalk
being rubbed into the intaglio of the
ornament. 00 00a

The method of their work is of the
simplest. The necessary timber obtained
—experience has taught them how to
select the right piece, mangrove, maiku
(a hard wood), and ebony being the
timbers used—the main proportions are
hewn out with a legogu, a wooden adze
with a stone head: this is a green stone of
very durable quality and much valued on
that account. With this implement the
wood is whittled away until the required
shape and size is reached ; then with a
finer adze the main outline of the design
is cut and the surface rubbed down with
the skin of a sting-ray. This stage of the
work completed, the more delicate orna-
ment is then cut with a shark's tooth set
in a wooden handle, (small sharpened
stones were also used). For cutting down
the uneven surfaces of rounded objects
such as their bowls, the sharpened edge
of the curved tusk of a wild boar is
employed. 00000

A comparison of the illustrations here
reproduced is instructive. (No. 8), the
head of a walking-stick, this is suggestive
of the Renaissance in the arrangement of
the figures. The snake (No. 4) is almost
Chinese in expression—in the illustration
I have spread this out in order to show it
to better advantage. Fig. 9 is singularly
reminiscent of the Egyptian treatment of
the figure. Fig. 2, a lime mortar, is
Assyrian in conception. No. 1, a lime
spatula, is notably Javanese in treatment.
So here we have—in part, at least—the
characteristics of the art of four distinct
races embodied in the designs of the
Trobrianders, which is very remarkable
in view of the fact, already stated, that
whatever may have been the original
outside sources from which these people
derived their art, its origin is so remote,
has been lost so far down the cycle of the
ages, that its consideration as a factor in
influencing their work is practically negli-
gible. 000000

(8) HANDLE OF STICK (EBONY)
CARVED BY TOBULAGITA
OF VAKUTA

(Nearly half actual size)

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