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Reflections Of The Creativity Of The Pacific Ocean Dwellers

Melanesia is a fusion of two phrases ‘Mela’ which means ‘black’ and ‘nesia’ which means ‘islands’. Melanesia means ‘black islands’. It refers back to the arts accomplished by the black folks in islands comparable to New Guinea, the dominant island, New Britain, Solomon’s island, New Caledonia, New Eire and Fiji all within the Pacific Ocean. Their arts dates again to either 2000 BC or 3000 BC but their arts have seen only a few changes in this trendy age.

Among the many Melanesians, political powers have been vested in the arms of teams of elderly men and in some areas girls. These elders often known as ‘Big males’ dealt with the affairs of the individuals in a communal trend. Such elders are famend for his or her political, historical, financial and warrior abilities. Energy and position have been earned by way of the acquisition of information that permits one to advance in the society. This data is imparted via the commemoration of several festivals and initiation rites throughout which varied artwork kinds are used.

The individuals believed in life after dying. In addition they believed that each one actions of this life are managed by ancestral spirits. This contains agricultural activities like yam productions, fishing, hunting and trading of artifacts. Elaborate ancestral rites are carried out to honour, reward and seek assist from the ancestors. They have been believed to facilitate the transition of the soul from the world of the living to the realm of the useless.

The Melanesians engaged in many art forms such as sculpture, painting, pottery, architecture, and basketry.

Male and female ancestral figures had been sculpted and used in the mortuary and memorial rites of the dead in wood, clay, and stone. Typically ancestors’ skulls have been over modelled with clay in a likeness of the deceased. The head of the carved figure could also be made bigger to contain the skull of the deceased. These have been used in the ancestral cults. Also, Ceremonial chairs, sacred flutes, and masks normal from soft wooden, vegetable fibers and rattan have been produced and worn by dancers during the ancestral cult (Tatanua masks) and initiation rites (Hevehe masks). Particular yam masks have been worn during the yam cult to petition the ancestors for a bumper harvest. Giant carved slit-gongs had been used as devices for communication to the people and as voices of ancestral spirits in the initiation rites of younger males.

Canoe prows formed like crocodiles with photos of people, birds and serpents had been carved with spells invoked on them to ensure successful fishing and trading of Kula (white conus-shell arm ornaments). Bisj poles which were extraordinarily lengthy poles have been carved from the trunk of the mangrove tree and utilized in head-looking ceremonies.

The stone island 66660 people constructed huge males’s ceremonial houses that served as assembly houses for the native youth throughout initiation rites. Males’s discussions of group issues were carried out there. Communal meeting homes where the affairs of the group and amongst people are deliberated and settled had been constructed.
Masks were painted in numerous colours and that they had symbolic meanings. For example, the Tatanua masks used in the funeral rites of the deceased were painted with black, white, yellow and crimson. These colours symbolize warfare, magic spells, and violence. The interiors and exteriors of the ceremonial homes had been lavishly painted with ancestral figures and animal forms which had spiritual charms. Body painting in the form of tattooing played a serious part of their culture.

The Melanesians engaged in the manufacturing of a special sort of pottery known as Lapita which were elaborately decorated with incised and geometric patterns. These ceramic vessels were utilized in domestic chores resembling storage of items and in preserving relics of ancestors during the ancestral
cults.

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