in the arsehole of diogenes

NEO-HERACLITUS_____________Qweir Notions in the arsehole of Diogenes: weBlog of a septuagenarian Binge-thinker since February 2008.
...............................................................................................
...........................................................................................................
...........................................................................................
........................................................................................................................................

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Suddenly I am interested in Tikis !

Tiki was 'the first man' in Māori cosmography, and squatting statues named after him, all more or less pleasingly grotesque, are found throughout Oceania (the Eastern Pacific) - from New Zealand to Hawaii and from the Marquesan and Tahitian archipelagoes to the Cook Islands and New Caledonia.

                    Here is a typical Tiki.

In September I went to a rather ramshackle, non-professional 'antiques fair' at a castle a few miles away.  Amongst the usual welter of porcelain, cutlery and knick-knacks, I saw this very cheerful and charming Tiki.

I fell in love with his toothy grin, his beautifully-striated wood, and his gorgeous buttocks - evidently worked by a master-woodcarver.  He was not at all expensive (less than 100 euros/£75).  His only 'provenance' is that he was sold as a 'Statue from Oceania' at the Drouot auction-rooms in Paris.

I bought him, knowing nothing about Tikis but the much-abused name, which is attached to squatting/seated human figures which range from a couple of centimentres high (in greenstone, nephrite - or plastic - properly known as hei-tikis) to large stone statues.
Click on the photos to get a larger picture.
 























He is 60 cms (2 feet)  high and carved from a beautiful piece of heavy but soft, striated wood in such a way that the buttocks are emphasised. The long thin penis in low relief is so discreet and delicate as to be almost invisible above a small (very high) anal hole.  It is less than half the length of his banana grin. His hands rest on his knees. Some toes have been knocked away in each foot, but he is otherwise fairly undamaged.  He weighs nearly 12 kgs.
























 Many tikis have penises, some are sexless and some are female.  Most have their hands meeting on their belly on which the navel is prominent. Many have protruding (minatory) tongues.  All have enlarged eyes, which in pendant examples are often of mother-of-pearl or a similar shell.  Most are leaning forward.  Some in the Marquesan Islands (thought by some researchers to be the original home of the statues) have emphasised buttocks, and most in the Marquesas do not have the tattoos that are such a feature of the Aotearoan tikis, nor the threatening Caliban-Cannibal teeth that are elsewhere almost universal.  Mine has, on the other hand, a very winning toothy grin which makes me smile as I pass him on the stairs.   On balance, I think he is probably Marquesan - and if not, then Tahitian.

 click here to see a slideshow of Tikis >>>

Some statues seem to have been minatory protectors (with frightening teeth) while others represent guardians of the Underworld, or legendary or historical warrior ancestors.  The (tattooed) Marquesan islanders were extremely fierce and cannibalistic.

My cheery chappie is almost certainly modern (mid to late 20th-century ?), but classier than mere tourist tat such as is ubiquitous on the Hawaiian islands.  He now stands on my stairs as benevolent protector, blessing all who pass.

============================

Quite unrelatedly, there is in the Marquesa island of Fatu Hiva a bay  known as the ‘Baie des Vierges’ (Bay of Virgins). This was originally named ‘Baie des Verges’ (Bay of Penises or, if you will permit, Hard Dick Harbour) by the first French settlers, in celebration of the large phallic rock formations that line it. Unsurprisingly the name was later and quickly changed by the usual loathesome Christian missionaries keen to suppress any sensual thoughts in this voluptuous and remote place.  It was in 1842 that the French took over the islands from the Spanish (though the USA claimed them in 1813, Congress never ratifying the claim) and established a settlement which was abandoned in 1859. The French returned in 1870 and later incorporated the islands (some 1200 sea-miles NE of Tahiti) into French Polynesia, still a colony of the French Republic.

No comments: