Power and Taboo: Sacred objects from the eastern Pacific
28 September 2006 – 7 January 2007
Power and Taboo explores the power of the gods in the Polynesian islands of the eastern Pacific. Displaying part of the British Museum’s remarkable early collections from this region, and illustrated with images made in the early part of European settlement (1760–1860), the exhibition investigates Polynesian ideas about the gods and how to manage their power.
Rare examples of feathered cloaks and valuable ornaments of jade and ivory from islands such as Aotearoa New Zealand, Rapa Nui Easter Island and Hawaii are also included in the exhibition. Many of these objects had a lasting influence on 20th century artists such as Henry Moore and Pablo Picasso.
This exhibition displayed 81 objects and was seen by over 123,000 visitors.