The Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas
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Oceania
Tömotu Neo (Trevanion), Santa Cruz Islands
Male Figure, Munge-Dukna
Wood, fiber, pigment (turmeric), shell, turtle shell
H. 13 3/4 in. (33.7 cm)
Raymond and Laura Wielgus Collection
Indiana University Art Museum, 2010.14


Although Santa Cruz figures once numbered in the hundreds, today only around fifty have survived; the others, like so many objects from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, were destroyed during the colonial period and conversions to Christianity. Santa Cruz figures represent household tutelary (guardian) deities, and each has a personal name, although in most cases, as here, that information has been lost.