Désignation: paddle
Pays: Austral Islands
Date: early 19th century
Taille: 104 cm
Description: A Ra'ivavae, ceremonial wood paddle, Of elegant elongated form with a slightly concave lanceolate blade with raised central ridge on one side leading to a slender shaft terminating in a circular handle with eight faces of classical form, decorated overall with finely incised geometric designs.

References :
- Richards, R. 2012 The Austral Islands: History, Art and Art History. Paremata Press. Wellington. New Zealand.
- Richards, R. 2014 An Analysis of Motifs on Austral Island 'Paddles.' Bonham's catalogue. 15 May 2014. pp.40-41.
- Stolpe, K.H. 1892 On the evolution of ornamental art.... (translated by Mrs. H. C. Marsh. Issued privately in Stockholm in 1927.)

Neither Polynesian oral tradition nor travel narratives relate information on either functional or ritual use of this type of Austral Islands paddle. It is nevertheless probable that they were designed as emblems of status and intended for ceremonial use. These paddles are distinguished by the elegance of their decoration and their purity of form – constituting veritable lace-making
out of wood.