Wall Panel



A large rectangular poupou (wall panel) from a meeting house. The main design elements are two large humanoid figures (wheku), one above the other, and smaller, more simply carved, humanoid heads between their legs, in their mouths, and on the lower figure's right shoulder. The top figure has its three-fingered left hand to its mouth and right hand on its stomach. The bottom figure has them the other way round. The bottom figure has five toes on each foot, while the top figure appears to have only four. All faces have beaked mouths with tongues sticking out. There are also manaia (bird-like profile heads) along each side of the poupou and on the top figure's left shoulder. The larger eyes, with central circular pegs, are shell-inlaid. The three main faces (two large figures and the face between the top one's legs) have tongues with carved surface decoration ritorito (fish-scale pattern). The rest of the surface decoration is based on rauponga (several parallel ridges and grooves with a notched ridge in between), with double spirals on the two large figures' hips, and on one shoulder and one elbow on each figure. There are plain grooved double spirals on the top figure's eyebrows and at the corners of the two main figures' mouths. There is a carved inscription "Tumau" below the top figure's right elbow.