Period: End of the 13th century – 14th century
Origin: Ahu o Rongo (Easter Island)
Materials: Solid andesite
Statue of Pou Hakanononga
The statues of Easter Island (Rapa Nui) have helped make this isolated island in the Pacific world-famous. Belgium has the rare privilege of owning one of these authentic statues.
The statue was donated by the population of Easter Island and the Government of Chile following an expedition by the Royal Museums of Art and History (now Art & History Museum) in 1935.
It bears the name Pou Hakanononga, which loosely translates as ‘god of the tuna fishermen’.
The name is fairly recent and is not related to the statue’s original role, but to the cultural renaissance on Easter Island after the near-genocide of the 19th century.
This 6-ton, 273-cm colossus was hewn from solid andesite seven centuries ago, according to radio carbon dating of the charcoal that was found in the foundation of the stone base on which this statue once stood.
The statues of Easter Island represent deified ancestors or local deities.
Come see this object with your own eyes in our Oceania collection.