Lidded Bowl (Kotue)

Marquesan (Enata) people

Not on view

The distinctive form of the lidded Marquesan bowls known as kotue
suggests the body and tail of a bird adorned with a fully modeled human
head. Only about a dozen of these remarkable vessels are known. Versatile
as well as elegant, bird-shaped bowls were first described by European
explorers in the eighteenth century, and a number of different functions are
assigned to them in the historical sources. Fitted with removable lids to
protect their contents, kotue were used to store a variety of items including
popoi, a paste made from pounded breadfruit that is a staple of the
Marquesan diet. They were also used to safeguard ornaments and other
valuables as well as 'eka (turmeric), a precious yellow-orange powder used
to adorn the skin.

Lidded Bowl (Kotue), Wood, Marquesan (Enata) people

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