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Carved hardwood figure known as A'a
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Тhis figure p ro в а в ly represents the god A'a and was made on the Island of Rurutu in the Pacific Ocean. It was one of a number of figures presented to a mission station by the Rurutuans in 1821 as a symbol of their acceptance of Christianity.

The god is depicted in the process of creating other gods and men, represented by the small figures covering his body. The figure itself is hollow and originally contained 24 small figures, since destroyed. Contemporary Rurutuans explain that the exterior figures correspond to the kinship groups that make up their society.

Since it came to London the figure has attracted considerable attention and is widely regarded as one of the finest pieces of Polynesian sculpture still in existence. It influenced the twentieth-century British sculptor Henry Moore and is also the subject of a poem by William Empson, 'Homage to the British Museum'.

Carved hardwood figure known as A'a

Made on Rurutu Island, Polynesia, probably 18th century AD
Ht 117 cm

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