Bow

oceania | Fiji Islands

Bow

Fiji Islands

Dakai bow

19th century
Carved wood
Height: 197 cm – 77 ½ in.

Provenance
Ex collection Adam Prout, Worcestershire, UK
Ex collection Edric van Vredenburgh, Brussels

Published: Fine Arts Paris & La Biennale 2022
Fiji Bow 197 cm / Galerie Flak Price on request
As stated by the Horniman Museum (UK), this fine Fijian bow of tiriwai wood (mangrove, Rhizophora mangle) possesses the distinctive groove that runs down the belly of Polynesian bows. The ends of the bow are carved into shield shapes that prevented the string slipping downwards.

Nowhere in Polynesia did the bow attain the significance in warfare that it had throughout Melanesia, and it is no coincidence that archery was most important in Fiji, where the two regions merge together.

The bow presented here is distinguished by its exceptional purity of form and its deep, shiny patina.

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