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Kave, Goddess Figure

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Kave, Goddess Figure

Kave, Goddess Figure

Kave De Hine Aligi was a powerful female spirit and goddess that presided over the Polynesian people of Nukuoro, a small atoll in the Caroline Island. This image was carved with shell and stone tools in the early 1800s. The people of this area were matrilineal, where kinship was traced through the mother or the female line and this influence is apparent from this, the largest figure, from the many Nukuoro gods that were erected on the sacred spaces.

This goddess stood in the community temple where the local priests sought her favour with offerings of food. By the 1870s, the people of Nukuoro were losing their faith in the old gods as the influence of Christianity increased.

Kave, Goddess Figure

  • Exhibit:                 Kave, Goddess Figure
  • Materials:             Wood
  • Date:                      1800
  • Culture:                Caroline Islands
  • Origin:                  Caroline Islands
  • Museum:              Auckland War Memorial Museum

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“As man disappears from sight, the land remains.”
– Maori Proverb

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Photo Credit: JOM