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20th C. Tahitian Carved Wood Statue - Erotic Couple

Oceania, French Polynesia, Tahiti, ca. mid 20th century CE. A sensual carving of a nude man and woman, the man crouched down and holding onto the woman, one hand at her shoulder, the other on her back. She, in turn, holds the side of his head. Their gestures seem unmistakably tender, their proximity sexual. Both have distinctive, elaborate coiffures. They are carved as part of a single, integral base. Tahitian wood carvings range from the abstract to the naturalistic, with fantastical version of the human body being a feature. These figures likely represent gods, spirits, or human ancestors; some were used for malevolent magic, whilst others were called upon by the community in times of need. Size: 12" W x 28.75" H (30.5 cm x 73 cm)

Condition: Dark, rich patina on surface. Some small cracks, chips, and nicks commensurate with age.

Provenance: private Newport Beach, California, USA collection

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