The Melanesian area commences with a spectacular group of works from the great island of New Guinea and associated with the “men’s house” or ceremonial house. A more intimate space is reserved for exhibition of artefacts connected with initiation rites and relationships with ancestor beings. Such themes as war, headhunting and funeral rites punctuate a journey taking the visitor from Papua New Guinea to the Solomon Islands. Types of money and adornments used in exchanges and rituals demonstrate the importance attached to prestige in these societies, such as artefacts emblematic of the grade system from the islands of Vanuatu and the Kanak chiefdoms of New Caledonia.

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© musée du quai Branly - photo Patrick Gries

Masque de façade de maison des hommes


Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, moyen Sépik

Milieu du xxe siècle

Bois, pigments

120,5 x 57 cm

Don Monique et Etienne de Ganay, Régine et Charles Van den Broek, Expédition La Korrigane, 1934-1936