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A Superb Old Maori Orators Paddle Polynesian Art from New Zealand C.1900

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Collection No. TB-2719
Size Length 151cm
New Guinea Oceanic Art
New Guinea & Oceanic Art
Abelam New Guinea Art
Asian & Japan Scholars Art

A Superb Old Maori Orators Paddle from New Zealand C.1900 Fine Polynesian Art

This fine old Maori Orators Paddle is beautifully decorated over the entire paddle with deeply incised designs; the most prominent part being the front of the paddle blade which depicts two stylized Ancestor Figures and below the largest figure is a partial Manaia figure which is a mythological creature in Māori culture. There are inset pearl shell eyes on the figures and a few other areas of the paddle as seen in the photos.

The back of the paddle blade has two distinct designs; Koru is a spiral shape based on the appearance of a new unfurling silver fern frond at the top and bottom areas and another design that I think might be kowhaiwhai; a Maori house rafter pattern in the middle section of the back of the paddle blade. The shaft of the paddle is fully incised with Koru and other design elements and ends with a Manaia or bird’s head.

When a respected person was speaking publicly, they often held a prop such as an Orators Staff or Orators Paddle which gave the speaker the full attention of the gathering. Maori artists made some of the most beautiful artworks ever made by human beings.

A similarly carved paddle attributed to the Maori Master Carver Tene Waitere (Ngati Tarawhai) and held in the Canterbury Museum collection see Carved Histories: Rotorua Ngati Tarawhai carving by Roger Neich. P. 249. Figure 15.46

Provenance: The Todd Barlin Collection of Oceanic & Polynesian Art

The Paddle comes with a nice custom made so that it can be displayed on the floor or on a table

I first went to Papua New Guinea in 1985 for an adventure & what I found was that I really enjoyed being with the people of New Guinea, over the next 38 years I spent extensive time spent collecting and documenting traditional art & ceremonies in remote areas of Papua New Guinea & West Papua, The Solomon Islands & Vanuatu & New Zealand, Tonga the other Pacific Islands countries. During these travels, I made major collections of New Guinea & Oceanic Art for major Museums and Public Art Galleries

I was honoured by being in the prestigious Louvre Museum Magazine for the collections I made for The Museum of African & Oceanic Art Paris in1996 (now the Musee Quai Branly) for the exhibition “Asmat et Mimika d’ Irian Jaya April 1996 At THE MUSEE NATIONAL des ARTS D’AFRIQUE et d’ OCEANIE, Paris

See all of the links & photos in my new EXHIBITIONS GALLERY and there is the link to the article in the prestigious Louvre Magazine 1996

I have artwork for Museums & Art Galleries but also for collectors at every stage of their collecting. I want to encourage people to explore the fine art of New Guinea & West Papua and the Pacific Islands and to be able to see and touch the artworks in a relaxed and friendly manner in my Sydney Gallery.  I would like to invite you to visit my gallery and see the artworks in person and also look at my website www.oceanicartsaustralia.com  where there are many Galleries & Sub Galleries to explore.

My Gallery of nearly 40 years is the last physical gallery in Sydney that specialises in New Guinea & Oceanic Art. Sydney is just a couple hours’ flight to New Guinea & the Pacific Islands where all of these amazing artworks came from, Australia’s closest neighbours.



If you have a similar “object” for sale please contact me for the best price and honest advice by a Government approved valuer 

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