Carved wooden female figure (moai papa) from Easter Island.
Place details: OCEANIA POLYNESIA. Easter Island Rapa Nui. Local Name: MOAI PAAPAA Materials: Wood Plant / Shell / Glass / ?. Processes: Carved / Inlaid / ?. Weight: 1270g Dimensions: Max L = 510 mm Max W = 117 mm When Collected: Between 29 March 1914 and 18 August 1915 Acquired: Donated 1916
KEYWORD: Figure / CLASS: Figure / ?.
Object description: Carved wooden human figure. The hair is incised with grooved lines across the head, and the eyebrows with short upright lines across a prominent brow. The mouth is closed horizontal and no teeth have been incised. The round eyes are inlaid with shell and glass, both of which are still intact. The vertically-elongated nose has carved-out nostrils, and the ears are distended, situated far back on the head, and are decorated with designs indicating ear ornamentation. The head faces slightly to the left, and there is a long groove cut into the back of the head, joining to the neck, on which there is a slight bump formed. The shoulder blades protrude, but otherwise the back has been left plain and smooth. There are breasts sculpted on the chest, emanating from the arms and pointing downwards upon the chest, culminating in two nipple-like nodules. Otherwise, the chest and stomach are smooth and unmarked. The left arm hangs straight by the side, its hand carved as resting on the figure’s inner thigh, with five digits incised. The right arm is bent at the elbow, with the lower part of the arm carved as if held across the stomach. There are four fingers and a distinct thumb incised. The buttocks are circular and accentuated, and the legs are short in proportion to the torso. The knees, which are visible, are slightly bent, although the figure is standing upright, and there are six toes carved on the right foot and seven on the left foot. Damage: The figure has numerous wear marks and small cracks, as well as a worm-hole under the right shoulder blade. The toes are very worn on both feet. There are two cracks on the head, one of which is on the hair, and the other runs down the side of the face. The right eye also appears to be slightly cracked. [Notes compiled by Emily Stokes-Rees, April 2003, in response to the detailed enquiries of Dederen Francois Te Pito.]
Publications history, trails & websites: Illustrated in black and white as plate 53b on page 132 of Iconografia de la Isla de Pascua, by Otto Klein Schwarz (Valparaiso: Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria, 1988). Caption (same page) reads: 'Moái bahine de principios de siglo'. See also entry on page 122. [JC 24 11 2000]
Published as number 251 in Corpus Rapa Nui: Inventaire mondial de la statuaire en bois de l'îles de Pâques / Global Inventory of the Wooden Statuary of Easter Island, by François Dederen ('Te Pito'), Braine-L'Alleud, Belgium: François Dederen (2013). The author's annotated line drawings (front and back) are on page 413 (see photocopy in RDF). On page 112 of his 'Description sommaire des pieces principales / Concise Description of the Principal Pieces', Dederen writes: 'Planche 251 (Pitt Rivers Museum) 1916.36.313. Moai pa'a pa'a frustre ayant une coiffure striée, les mains dans la position classique des moia pa'a pa'a; pas de détail particulier.'; 'Plate 250 (Pitt River [sic] Museum) 1916.36.313. This coarse moai pa'a pa'a has striped hair, the hands in classic moai pa'a pa'a position, no particular detail.' The figure is also listed on page 98. [JC 10 10 2013]