This piece is just fabulous!
Carved from bone, it is known as a 'Moai Kavakava' - a traditional figure found in the Easter Islands in Polynesia. There is not a lot of recorded history on this particular figure, but it is believed to represent the Islanders' starving ancestors. Traditionally they were worn around the necks of men performing ritual dances in formal ceremonies.
Interestingly, these figures have inspired some very well known artists - the French surrealist André Breton and the German expressionist, Max Ernst to name a couple - certainly this is ethnic art at its most interesting.
The detail in this carving is incredible - zoom in on the photos to check out his ear lobes, rib cage and spine - awesome!
This is one of a small series of pieces we have from traditional Pacific Island ethnic designs. You can see the others by clicking the links below:
Material: Natural Bone, stained with a homemade onion skin based dye
Cord: Wapiti Brown; Length: Adjustable
Size: 94mm (3.7") long; 19mm (0.7") wide