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Pipe Bowl (Epaepa or Pioro)

Date:
early 19th century
Geography:
Marquesas Islands
Culture:
Marquesan (Enata) people
Medium:
Whale ivory
Dimensions:
H. 2 3/8 x W. 1 in. (6 x 2.5 cm)
Classification:
Bone/Ivory-Implements
Credit Line:
Gift of Evelyn A. J. Hall, 1986
Accession Number:
1986.476.5
  • Description

    The use of tobacco was among the first Western practices adopted widely in
    the Marquesas and other areas of Polynesia. By the early nineteenth century,
    the Marquesans had begun to create their own pipes (epaepa or pioro). The
    use of pipes and tobacco, like many other aspects of Marquesan culture,
    was governed by sacred restrictions or tapu. Men and women, for example,
    were not permitted to smoke together. Although in widespread use, pipes
    remained highly valued objects and were often passed down as heirlooms
    or occasionally were buried with their owners. This example is adorned
    with three small tiki (human images), whose poses and features closely
    resemble those on Marquesan ivory ear ornaments dating to the same
    period. Like most Marquesan tiki, the figures likely portray deified ancestors.

  • Provenance

    Evelyn A. J. Hall, New York, until 1986

  • See also
    What
    Where
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
314967

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