The tikis are humanoid figures present in several forms throughout Polynesia. The inhabitants of these lands revered and feared them. They represented their ancient gods and mythical ancestors. They were half-man half-god.
The Tikis are sometimes depicted full-length, others only as a head, but always with big eyes, a symbol of wisdom, and often with an aggressive expression.
They are found in a variety of forms: from pendants in bone, mother-of-pearl or coral (see the photo below), worn and transmitted from generation to generation, to giant tikis, as shown in the following photographs, in order: two from the Hiva Oa island in the Marquesas, that from Raivavae in the Austral Islands, or the giant moais from Easter Island, carved in stone.
The Polynesian witch doctors, the Tahu’a, said that the tiki was the creator of man. He is the one who brings the mana, the energy that links the universe with the beings. In the past the Polynesians lived in a world of evil spirits and numerous tapu (the term taboo, present today in all the languages of the world, comes from this Polynesian word). Neither the children nor the adults could violate the tapu.
- Figure half man half God
- Indigenous object name
- Ethnic group/ culture
- Marquesas Islands
- Region/ country
- French Polynesia
- 2nd half 20th century
- Good condition, used with some signs of wear
- Sold with stand
- 12×6×5 cm