Nguzu nguzu

Summary

The nguzu nguzu (sometimes called a musu musu or toto isu) is the traditional figurehead which was formerly affixed to canoes in the Solomon Islands. It was attached to the canoe's prow at the waterline, and was held to provide supernatural protection during expeditions. Nguzu nguzus typically depict bust-length figures with large heads, small arms, and circular ear ornaments; the hands are raised to the figure's chin, sometimes clasping either another head or a bird. Their jutting jaws were traditionally held to be an attribute of spirits.[1]

A nguzu nguzu at the Honolulu Academy of Arts

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Canoe Figurehead (Nguzu Nguzu, Musu Musu, or Toto Isu), late 19th–early 20th century at the Metropolitan Museum of Art