Ɵ Ceremonial Adze, Mangaia Island, Cook Islands
Hardwood with brown patina, leather, basalt, woven coconut fibres (sennit)
H. 92.5 cm
Cook Islands (Mangaia Island) Ceremonial Adze
H. 36 1/4 in
- Wayne Heathcote
- Private American collection
Produced exclusively on Mangaia, the southernmost island of the Cook Archipelago, this type of ceremonial adze represented the Tane god Mata Ariki, protector of the carpenters. Their success with Westerners prolonged their production until the 19th century, but the introduction of metal on the island made the techniques specific to basalt work disappear into oblivion.
Large in size, this work is sculpted with a base, such as the powerful grip, adorned with a myriad of double K motifs, probably anthropomorphic figurations. The large blade is held in place by a sennit ligature, whose manufacture throughout the archipelago using coconut fibres was highly esteemed, and sometimes even made by chefs.
A fine example of the type.
Location of the item France - 75008 Paris