Collection Online
earth pigment on wood, shell, mother-of-pearl
37.9 × 17.6 × 14.6 cm (overall)
Place/s of Execution
Roviana Island, Western Province, Solomon Islands
Accession Number
Oceanic Sculpture / Pacific Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Todd Barlin through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program, 2013
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
Gallery location
Not on display
Physical description
This Ngusu ngusu ancestor figure is a fine characteristic example of the distinctive central figurehead of a canoe prow, integral to transportation; fishing, and warfare in the Western Solomon Islands. The figure, known variously as nguzu nguzu, musu musu, or toto isu, is carved in profile, its eyes and forehead inlaid with shells. The mouth is carved out, its carved earlobes are bigger and extended, which is associated with beauty in the Solomons.