REGION: Oceania
COUNTRY: Vanuatu
VALUE: 75 vatus

This stamp is one of a set of five mask stamps issued by the archipelago nation of Vanuatu in 1998.  It depicts a crest mask from Gaua Island, one of the Banks Islands.  The use to which such masks are put by the tiny population of this island (fewer than 3000 persons) is not well known, but it is worn with a fringe of green palm leaves and a skirt of dried raffia. The dancer carries a pole on which colorful balls are skewered, with thin reeds decorated with white feathers protruding at various points.