Herb Kawainui Kane (American, 1928 - 2011) "1800s Life in the Marshalls - Young Chiefs" Signed lower right. Original Mixed Media painting on Illustration Board.
Provenance: Collection of James A. Helzer (1946-2008), Founder of Unicover Corporation.
This painting was originally published on the First Day Cover for the Republic of the Marshall Islands 29c Young Chief stamp issued September 15, 1993.
The art is an adaptation from sketches made in 1817 by Frenchman Louis Choris. They handsomely portray a member of the Marshall Islands' ruling class. A crown of flowers intertwine with plaited pandanus fibers indicates the high social status of the young man pictured. By the 19th century, the social structure of the Marshall Islands was highly organized. Each clan was led by a hereditary chief, and together the leaders were known as irooj. The rank of chief continues to be handed down from generation to generation, and today's irooj are not only held in high esteem, but are part of the present-day Marshallese parliament known as the Nitijelia.
Image Size: 14.75 x 17.75 in.
Overall Size: 18 x 21 in.
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