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Arts and crafts from around the world

Cook Islands

Carved figure c.1970

Hardwood and mother of pearl | 61.0 x 33.0 x 21.0 cm (whole object) | RCIN 90758

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A carved, wooden statuette of a male figure decorated with shell. The shell is decorated with carved landscape.

This hardwood carving has shell insets shaped in the form of the fifteen Cook Islands - Pukapuka, Suwarrow, Rakahang, Takutea, Penrhyn, Mauke, Aitutaki, Rarotonga, Mangaia, Atiu, Mitiaro, Palmerston, Manuae, Manihiki and Nassau.

The figure is wired for electricity; the bulb would sit in the figure's stomach and shine through the mother of pearl.

The Cook Islands are a self-governing island in free association with New Zealand since 1965, meaning that since that date the Queen has been the Head of State. This particular figure was presented to the Queens during her official visit to New Zealand in 1970.