- Museum number
Canoe ornament (?) made of wood - Fagraea sp (pua kenikeni). A carving of two figures standing back-to-back on a pedestal of two stylised, angular anthropomorphic forms.
- Production date
Height: 32.50 centimetres
Width: 16.50 centimetres
Depth: 7 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Illustrated as being part of the collections of the British Museum in James Edge-Partington, 'An Album of the Weapons, Tools, Ornaments, Articles of Dress etc., of the Natives of the Pacific Islands', Part one, 1890, plate 24, no.7.
The double figures sit atop two other stylized seated headless figures whose forearms reach up to the platform. The underside of the base is smooth and slightly concave, suggesting that this sculpture was formerly attached to a large curved mount, possibly at a canoe prow or stern. The protruding mouths are distinctive. A probable Cook voyage image in Dublin (Kaeppler, A.L.,1978, 'Artificial Curiosities': being an exhibition of native manufactures collected on the three Pacific voyages of Captain Cook, R.N', Special Publication 65. Honolulu: B.P. Bishop Museum: 138, 142) is almost certainly a fragment of a double-figure carving of this type, since it remains an upward-reaching forearm below one foot.
Wood identified as probably Fagraea sp. by Dr Paula Rudall, Head of Micromorphology, Jodrell Laboratory, Kew Gardens, during her analysis of woods used in Hawaiian and other Polynesian figures.
Identification by British Museum research scientist Caroline Cartwright 2011:
Fagraea sp. (pua kenikeni) wood
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2008 16 Jun-14 Sep, Paris, Musée du quai Branly, Pacific Encounters
2006 21 May-13 Aug, Norwich, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Pacific Encounters
2011 24 Sept-31 Dec, Denmark, Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Gauguin and Polynesia: South Pacific Encounters
2012 9 Feb-29 Apr USA, Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, Gauguin and Polynesia: South Pacific Encounters
2014 23 May-3 Aug, Canberra, National Gallery of Australia, Atua: Sacred art from Polynesia 2014-2015 12 Oct-4 Jan, St Louis Art Museum, Atua: Sacred art from Polynesia
2018-2019, 29 Nov-4 Aug, London, BM, G91, Reimagining Captain Cook: Pacific Perspectives
- Acquisition notes
- Acquisition details unknown.
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
CDMS number: Oc????D11.60 (old CDMS no.)