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Navigation spirit effigy (osonifei)
Navigation spirit effigy (osonifei)
Date:
19th century
Location:
Not on display
Century:
Media:
Wood, Stingray Spines, Coconut Palm Leaves, Barnacle, Red Clay, Coconut Fiber Sennit, Pigment, And Lime Plaster
Dimensions:
16 x 2 1/2 (40.6 x 6.4 cm)
Object Type:
Continent:
Oceania
Provenance:

Collected by Captain John Gordon Hitchfield and, his wife, Louisa, and purchased by the Park commission in 1905.

Accession Number:
26168
Acquisition Date:
1905-06-30
Credit Line:

Museum purchase, M.H. de Young Memorial Museum

Navigation figures, effigies of seafaring deities, imbued with incantations and prayers offered protection for the navigator from the inherent dangers of the ocean, such as destructive typhoons and storms with high winds and waves that could imperil their vessel. Portable and small in scale, but with strong manaman, cosmic force and power, the figures accompanied the navigator while at sea and were secured to the rigging or placed for safekeeping in a navigator hut located on the outrigger platform when not in use. This rare figure originated from Namonuito Atoll in the Caroline Islands archipelago.

Contemporaneous Works “Art from the same century and country”

Shell money
Shell money (19th century)
Tattoo instrument
Tattoo instrument (19th century)
Tattoo instrument
Tattoo instrument (19th century)
Bracelet
Bracelet (19th century)