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Tiki Central Forums Collecting Tiki Info Request - Oceanic Tattoo Warrior - Got one?
Info Request - Oceanic Tattoo Warrior - Got one?
hecktow
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 22, 2006
Posts: 50
Posted: 2009-02-05 1:44 pm   Permalink

Looking for some info on this guy. I got him about a year ago. Verbal history was he came from the estate or a sailor from WW2. He got him some place in the Pacific around the mid to late 1940's or early 1950's time frame. Person I bought it from thought it might be from the Cook Islands. I think that could be right, but he may also be from Marquesas or Tahiti. large! stands 21" tall, and the spear in hand measures 28" Heavy wood, carved patterns mimic full body tattoos the kings and Warriors had. . In trying to research it I have read that tattoo warrior figures were carved in Marquesas & Tahiti, but I have not been able to find photos of anything close to this one. Anyone? Please don't tell me he's really from New Jersey. Thanks!










[ This Message was edited by: hecktow 2009-02-10 09:53 ]


 
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atomictonytiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 14, 2002
Posts: 1278
From: Bangkok
Posted: 2009-02-05 2:57 pm   Permalink

I think it looks like a Papua New Guinea "Mud Man"..



[ This Message was edited by: atomictonytiki 2009-02-05 14:58 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11194
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-02-05 10:25 pm   Permalink

Highly unusual, very cool statue. Looks Marquesan by the face,



...but the body is unusual, not based on any island tatoo style. Marquesan tatoos were much more elaborate, not so even.

Then again, it could be the Creature from the Black Lagoon, spearfishing:





 
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hecktow
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 22, 2006
Posts: 50
Posted: 2009-02-06 12:55 pm   Permalink

Couple shots of old Marquesas carvings that show some "V" shaped chest carvings a bit like the figure. I have also seen some old drawings (from Capt Cook travels?)that show the former king of The Cook Islands holding a spear. He had the full body "V" shapped tattoos on his body ... I can't seem to find that photo right now... But again nothing quite matched perfectly.






 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11194
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-02-06 5:11 pm   Permalink

You are right: These groves are not so much supposed to be actual tattoos, but an abstraction, representative of tattoos. Very good! Marquesan it is, then. Probably a unique tourist carving from one of the Marquesas islands, not mass-produced.

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11194
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-02-06 6:36 pm   Permalink

Hot damn, you are right, here he is!:



....so these WERE actual tattoos...though very unique, and not common:



Waitaminit...how come YOU asked the question -and then you supply all the answers? I mean how much closer do you wanna get than that guy, and those carvings you posted...?

My knowledge of Tattoo traditions is limited, when I hear "Marquesan Tattoos" I think of something along the lines of THIS:



But apparently that graphic style (the Cook island one) was not unknown on other islands:



Since there are so few carvings and images of this style in existence:
I have been wondering sometimes if there are cases (like in the case of the Tahitian Cannibal Carvings) where a style had become extinct because no primary examples survived, but was remembered by some old carvers, who then used it in tourist carvings, making those the only evidence left of that particular form!


 
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hecktow
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 22, 2006
Posts: 50
Posted: 2009-02-07 08:46 am   Permalink

>Waitaminit...how come YOU asked the question -and then you supply all the answers? I mean >how much closer do you wanna get than that guy, and those carvings you posted...?

LOL! I'm just lonely and like to talk to myself. Person I got it from made the possable Cook Islands link. Again I also read "Something" (memory is foggy) about tattoo Warrior carvings in Marquesas &/or Tahiti on some website. But there were no photos of examples, and I have found nothing that close. My worst case scenario was that he was done in some place like the philippines by someone working off a drawing. But I think he's too sexy for that. Especially with that original rope necklace and detail on the spear. Thank for finding that photo!


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11194
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-02-07 09:52 am   Permalink

I think he is the real thing: The carving itself is so uncommon that I have never seen anything like it (anybody else out there, perhaps?), AND it is based on a Tattoo style that is so rare, I didn't even know about it. I have a friend who is a Rarotongan native, maybe we will get to find out more about this baby.

 
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tikipaka
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: May 31, 2006
Posts: 639
From: New York
Posted: 2009-02-07 10:27 am   Permalink

It's a good thing your here BigBro. You are a world of knowledge and I love how you just know it all and if not, you do a lot of research.. I think I've had one Mai Tai to many, and it's only 1:25 PM.. Damn, I need to stop before it's to late. Now stay on top of this little man with the spear, I want to know just where he came from!
_________________



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multinesia
Member

Joined: Feb 08, 2009
Posts: 2
From: Aotearoa/Cook Is
Posted: 2009-02-08 7:16 pm   Permalink

Kia orana koutou katoa! Greetings Tiki Tribe.

Im the Rarotonga native Big Bro mentions above (Dad is from Aitutaki and Mum is a kiwi; born in Aotearoa, began my journalism career at the Cook Islands News, now making movies in L.A.), so Im coming aboard to add my 2 cents worth.

This is a very unusual carving. Have never seen anything like it in my travels through Oceania and Pacific art/lit/history. The artist has a unique and playful style that is quite charming. I would say definitely not Rarotongan; have never seen anything like it in the Cooks.

Most likely of further Eastern Pacific origins Tahiti/Marquesas/Tuamotus. The V-shaped banding does look like stylized tatau/tattoo but beware of seeking any direct correlation. Early post-contact Pacific etchings are often inaccurate, and since Eastern Polynesian tatau died out shortly after missionaries (e.g. Rev. John Williams mentioned in the caption), many of the original patterns and forms were not preserved.

Tend to agree with Sven this is most likely from the Black Lagoon. Or could be Ewok tribe (below). In any case, hes a beauty and his mysterious origins make him all the more fascinating.





 
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hecktow
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 22, 2006
Posts: 50
Posted: 2009-02-09 08:36 am   Permalink

Sounds like the hunt for his origins still goes on. Thank you all for you info! Glad I could share him here. I'll keep researching him and report back. Hard to pick favorites in a collection .... but he's my Favorite.

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11194
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-02-09 1:43 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-02-08 19:16, multinesia wrote:
I would say definitely not Rarotongan; have never seen anything like it in the Cooks.



Dang, I had hoped the response would be something like "...and my grand-uncle's second cousin used to run this little souvenir shop for the cruise ship passengers, and knows of this old hermit that lived in a shack on the so-and-so beach, who carved in this style."

It is just so unusual: A Tiki face on a humanoid body. The only type of "South Sea" tourist carvings I am aware of that feature that kind of dynamic, naturalistic body posture are these head hunter figures from Indonesia:



These could be found at Polynesian restaurants during the Tiki period. But there is no way the spear fisher carving above is from that tradition. The smooth, realistic style of these statues is the opposite of the rough adze-marked style of our man in question. That style is also different from any Marquesan/Tahitian carvings I have encountered.


 
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