here’s my attempt at carving a Fisherman’s god or ‘Tang’ as Tiki fans like to call them. This is a bit of a classic Tiki carving which has been done by many carvers in the past and is regularly the basis of Tiki mugs and artworks.
You can even see it on the cover of The Future Sound of London‘s Single ‘Papua New Guinea’ even though the fisherman’s god is actually from Rarotonga in the Cook Islands.
This is the first Tiki I’ve carved that is a direct copy of a real sculpture. Normally I take an influence from here and there and try to put my own spin on it. This was more difficult as there was no room for improvisation.
Mine’s anatomically correct unlike some that suffered at the hands of the missionaries that collected them…
Thanks for looking!
here is a newish carving of a ‘cannibal’ fork. These forks were originally used to feed tribal chiefs and holy men who were not allowed to touch food.
Cutlery was not used in ancient Fiji but these forks would be used in ceremonial feasts. An attendant would feed important members of the tribe for whom touching food was Tapu.
Although cannibalism was part of Fijian culture for centuries, it is not clear that these forks were reserved only for human flesh, as all food was subject to spiritual restrictions.
Modern anthropologists consider the reputation of these forks to be exaggerated, initially by missionaries eager to justify their work with tales of ‘savage’ natives in need of Christian guidance and later by the Fijian artists who quickly realised that they could sell more forks to tourists and collectors if they gave their work a macabre back story.
Artist Alana Jelinek investigates the myths in her Tall Stories: Cannibal Forks art project although you can see from this cannibal fork auction that these artefacts have lost none of their exotic appeal…
Read more about making a cannibal fork at the Aretactual Blog
here’s a new carving, based on a Papua New Guinea ancestor figure. Crocodiles feature heavily in New Guinea art and are considered to be important spirit figures. Some tribes even celebrate a crocodile as the creator of their world.
I made this from a table leg I found outside, it’s Beech I think, about 28cm tall.