VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Female ancestor figure/kareau
MPE 143235
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

E.H.Giglioli wrote that Kareau figures had great magic protective power from Iwi, the spirits of the dead. This old Kareau, very well made and well preserved, is one of the very few witnesses of the Nicobar lores and crafts that survived the tsunami of December 2004.

History of the Object
Enrico Hillyer Giglioli (1845-1909) was an Anglo-italian naturalist and started to collect photographs and ethnographic items during his journey around the world on the ship Magenta (1865-1868). He was constantly in contact with European and American institutions, exchanging or acquiring objects and informations. In 1885 Giglioli had the item from E. H. Man, who published it in the Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 1882.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Painted wood, basketry 
Measurements
Width 23 cm. Height 48 cm.  
Creator name
unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
India; Great Nicobar Islands; Chowra Island 
Geography
India 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
19th Century - 20th Century; 1804-1929; Anuvong Period 
Function
Standing Kareau figures represent the head of the family, while sitting Kareau represent important ancestors. They were figures of great imporance to the Nicobar people and were worshipped by them. 
Acquisition
From Enrico Hillyer Giglioli's ethnographical collection, which was purchased by Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico Luigi Pigorini in 1913 
Copyright
©Soprintendenza al Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico Luigi Pigorini, Roma 
Acknowledgements
Text: Loretta Paderni, Francesco de Feo Photo: Fabio Naccari, Vincenzo Crisafulli ©Soprintendenza al Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico Luigi Pigorini, Roma 
Owner
Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico Luigi Pigorini, RomaState property, Italy 
Museum
Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico  
Credit line
 

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