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Ceremonial Paddle

Ra'ivavae
Austral Islands

Carved wood
Early 19th century

Height: 43 in. (109.5 cm)

Price: sold

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Neither Polynesian oral tradition nor travel narratives relate information on either functional or ritual use of this type of Austral Islands paddle. It is nevertheless probable that they were designed as emblems of status and intended for ceremonial use.
These paddles are distinguished by the elegance of their decoration and their purity of form – constituting veritable lace-making
out of wood.