Bark Belt
Papuan Gulf, Papua New Guinea
19th Century

PROVENANCE: Collected by Frank Heald sr. in Port Moresby in 1923. Lent to the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburg, 1926. Exhibited until 1960 then returned to the Heald family.

This belt is made out of the bark from a young kava tree. The bark is very malleable, easily creating a cylindrical form, which can be worn around the waist. Bark belts were worn by men during various ceremonies and are decorated in a range of different designs. This particular example is carved in shallow relief which has been incised with natural red and white pigments. Three spirit faces are visibly intertwined within the decorative patterning along the width of the belt. Inventory number: L.759-10

Diameter: 10 1/2" in. Width: 3 1/2" in
IN. 6-3-14 / SOLD