Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/353

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331
Ornamentation.

and determine with certainty where it was made. In the patterns of tattooing, where it is used in these groups, and in the stencilled figures used on the mats in the New Hebrides, the character of the ornamentation shewn in the ear-ornaments is reproduced; just as tattoo on the cheeks of the women of the Florida neighbourhood follows the pattern incised on the cocoa-nut bottles.

With this conventional character of the ornament of each group or region there appears also upon occasion a remarkable freedom of ornamentation. The part of an ornamented walking-stick here shown was cut with a common knife in Norfolk Island by a native of Aurora, who was not at all aware that he was executing a work of art. A comparison of the graceful foliage ornamentation incised on the back of a nut-shell used as a casket with the lined pattern on the cocoa-nut bottle above, shews again an unexpected freedom in the art of Ysabel.