A Tapu Virgin, British Solomon Islands
Signed and dated 'R.SCHMIDT 1917' (lower left)
Oil on board
16 3/8” x 12”
With inscription verso: 'A Tapu Virgin, British Solomon Islands at the launching of a new war canoe in New Georgia two virgins are taken from the tribe, one is publicly sacrificed, and the other kept in seclusion from 4 to 5 years. During this time an old woman acts as guard over her. Should she break the tabu she is put to death. The skulls on the sticks are a sign to all that if they molest her their heads will be stuck up in the same way. The object in the back-ground is a skull box. The large necklace is of dogs teeth.'