- Museum number
Mace god with an openwork wood head and handle bound with coir and a thick rope of human hair.
- Production date
Height: 21.50 centimetres (special box)
Length: 91.40 centimetres
Width: 99 centimetres (special box)
Depth: 64.70 centimetres (special box)
- Curator's comments
Description on British Museum registration slip (written in 1890?):
An elaborate staff, the head is carved in open work with three rows of lozenge shaped openings alternating with rows of pierced ridges on all four sides. The top imperfect; the handle is covered with finely plaited sinnet over which a stout rope of human hair covers the lower half; the butt is similar in design to the head.
97-98 Elaborately carved idols from Mangaia
L.M.S. Cat. 30,31. Two elaborately carved club formed idols, whose names are now lost; but they were the district gods of Mangaia, one of the Hervey Islands.'
One of three mace gods in the British Museum which were among eleven taken from the god house at Kei'a on Mangaia and surrendered to the pastor Davida (from Taha'a in the Society Islands) in the mid 1820s: 'The bark cloth wrappings were cast away and in this way the gods were desecrated (Buck, P.H. [Te Rangi Hiroa]., 1993, 'Mangaia and the mission', Suva: Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific and B.P.Bishop Museum: 18). The missionaries John Williams and George Platt later took them for the LMS museum. Its openwork head was probably once covered with feathers. The handle is bound with coir and a thick rope of human hair.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2006 21 May-13 Aug, Norwich, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Pacific Encounters
2006-2007 28 Sept-7 Jan, London, BM, Power and Taboo
2008 16 Jun-14 Sep, Paris, Musée du quai Branly, Pacific Encounters
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
CDMS number: Oc1911C27.42 (old CDMS no.)
Miscellaneous number: 100 (LMS number)
Miscellaneous number: 31 (Original LMS number)
Miscellaneous number: Oc1890,Loan (originally loaned to BM in 1890 by LMS)