Raivavae, Austral Islands
Tamanu wood (Calophyllum inophyllum), sharkskin, sennit
H. 54 in. (137.1 cm)
Raymond and Laura Wielgus Collection
Indiana University Art Museum, 80.5.3
With the coming of Europeans in the late eighteenth century, metal
tools became popular trade items in the Austral Islands and throughout
Polynesia, and they soon replaced those made of materials such as
bone, stone, and teeth. The new tools not only allowed work to be
completed more rapidly, but they also made intricate carving easier.
This drum, made with metal tools, is similar in form and in patterns
to earlier ones, but its carving is much more complex and elaborate.