Apr 2, 2021
Apr 2, 2021
Apr 2, 2021
Apr 5, 2021

Ceremonial Paddle

Ceremonial Paddle

1800s

Wood

Overall: 21.6 cm (8 1/2 in.)

Gift of Richard Inglis 1940.1079

Location

Description

Fine, chip-carved patterns cover the blades and shafts of Austral Islands ceremonial paddles. Squatting human figures carved around the butt are called tiki tiki tangata, meaning man-gods. The shafts of early paddles are usually round in cross-section; 19th-century examples are sometimes square.

The function of the intricately carved Austral Islands paddles is uncertain. They may have been displayed on ceremonial occasions, such as dances, pageants, ancestral rituals, or inaugurations.

See also
Collection: 
Oceanic Art
Department: 
Oceania
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture
Medium: 
Wood

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