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Ceremonial Bowl

Artist/Maker: Artist Unknown (Artist Unknown)

Date: 1931
Medium: wood, paint and nautilus or conus shell
Overall: 13 5/8 x 33 3/8 x 5 in. (34.6 x 84.8 x 12.7 cm)
Classification: Containers
Credit Line: Gift of The Rubin - Ladd Foundation
Object number: 2005.43.30
DescriptionThe carvers of Owa Riki are famous for their large ritual bowls, like this one in the form of a bonito canoe. Personal bowls such as this and larger communal bowls are used in commemorative feasts honoring selected deceased relatives and personal tutelary deities. The inlay comes from either the nautilus shell or the conus shell, depending on the thickness. It is held in place by putty made from oily local fruit. The bowl is painted with a resin-based black stain. The patron cannot pay the carver in currency because that would offend the tutelary deity to whom the bowl will be dedicated. The larger communal bowls are kept in canoe houses with the sacred bonito canoes.
Not on view