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Ancestor Figure (Adu Zatua)

Arts of the Pacific Islands

To honor deceased family members, villagers kept carved wooden figures to contain the souls of their ancestors in the family house. This male figure (adu zafua) grasping two short rods wears an elaborate headdress symbolizing the tree of life.

MEDIUM Wood, fur, pigment
DATES early 20th century
DIMENSIONS 22 7/8 x 4 3/4 x 4 in. (58.1 x 12.1 x 10.2 cm)  (show scale)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE George C. Brackett Fund
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CAPTION Ancestor Figure (Adu Zatua), early 20th century. Wood, fur, pigment, 22 7/8 x 4 3/4 x 4 in. (58.1 x 12.1 x 10.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, George C. Brackett Fund, 34.6073. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 34.6073_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 34.6073_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Wooden male figure, in crouching position, with prominent headdress. Represents ancestor of the group. Said to have come from the house of a chieftain of the village of Gunung Sitoli, and to have been obtained in 1914 before the Rhine Mission Association had converted most of the locals and destroyed most of the remaining 'idols.'
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