"Lizardman" Figure (Moko)

Rapa Nui people

Not on view

The distinctive lizardman figures (moko) of Rapa Nui are composite beings with the heads and tails of lizards, the fan-like tails of birds, and the bodies of humans. Reportedly placed at the thresholds of dwellings or ceremonial structures or hung from interior rafters, the figures may depict powerful spirits, who served as supernatural guardians. Small lizardman images were also worn as pendants by dancers during feasts. The hole in the back of this work once accommodated the cordage used to suspend it within a dwelling or around a performer's neck.

"Lizardman" Figure (Moko), Wood, obsidian, bone, Rapa Nui people

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