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301 - Moai Tangata
lt tc rt
lc Chile rc
lb bc rb
DATE early 19th century
AUTHOR Unknown Rapa Nui Artist - Chile
MEDIA Wood, obsidian, bone
SIZE 40,6 cm (16") tall
LOCATION USA - New York - The Metropolitan Museum of Art
NOTES Of all the diverse forms of wood sculpture created by artists on Rapa Nui (Easter Island), the naturalistic male figures known as moai tangata, with their enlarged heads, frontal stance, and prominent stomachs, bear the closest formal resemblance to the island's well-known stone figures. Little is known about the nature and use of moai tangata, but they likely portray ancestors or other powerful supernatural beings and may have been venerated as part of family or individual religious observances.
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