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Female figure (’otua fefine) representing the deity Hikule’o

Not on view

This wood figure may have been a vehicle through which the for-midable deity Hikule’o manifested herself in the physical realm. The balance and restraint of the figure’s compact posture, artic-ulated through the angular geometry of her breasts, legs, and buttocks, belie her tremendous vigor. Said to guard the entrance to Pulotu, the watery, dark realm of the ancestors, Hikule’o held a ritual role as mediator and was associated with the Tu’i Tonga, the earliest line of ruling chiefs, who were her earthly representatives.

Female figure (’otua fefine) representing the deity Hikule’o, Wood

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