Perchoir à oiseaux (mutu kaka), Maori, Nouvelle…

Lot 72
70 000 - 100 000 €

Perchoir à oiseaux (mutu kaka), Maori, Nouvelle…

Perchoir à oiseaux (mutu kaka), Maori, Nouvelle Zélande
Epoque présumée: XIXe siècle
Bois dur à patine brun foncé noir, brillante par endroits
H. 18,5 cm - L. 27 cm
Maori perch (mutu kaka), New Zealand
H. 7.1 in - L. 10.6 in Provenance(s):
- Collection Kenneth Webster, Londres, n° 1647
- Wayne Heathcote
- Collection privée américaine
Cf. Hamilton, Maori Art, Wellington, 1901, pp. 217-218 et 258-259 (planche XXXVII)
Perchoir à oiseau sculpté à l'une des ses extrémités d'une remarquable figure de tiki en pied, les mains puissantes à triple digitation signe de grande ancienneté, les jambes fléchies prenant appui sur un court socle. A l'autre extrémité, une tête stylisée parcourue de motifs locaux.
Sous le contre poids, numéro de la collection Webster Web Coll 1647.
Activité particulièrement valorisée dans la société Maori, la chasse aux perroquets (kaka ou keruru) demandait dextérité et patience, et requérait notamment l'installation de ce piège, fiché dans le sol, ou posé en équilibre sur une branche. Un cordage passé dans les différents percements ménagés ici dans le tiki et enroulé sur le perchoir, cranté à espace régulier, permettait de retenir l'oiseau captif lorsqu'il se posait et que le lien tiré enserrait ses pattes. Ensuite, ses plumes étaient utilisées afin de réaliser de précieuses capes.
La belle ancienneté, les qualités plastiques de cet objet particulièrement rare en main privée, le pedigrée enfin, sont exceptionnels.

MAORI PERCH SNARE (MUTU KAKA), NEW ZELAND H. 7.1 in - L. 10.6 in Bird perch with one end sculpted with a remarkable tiki figure at the bottom with strong 3-digit hands signifying great age and bent legs sitting on a low base. There's a stylised head decorated with local patterns on the other side.
The Webster Web Coll 1647 collection number is under the counterweight.
The popular Maori leisure activity of parrot hunting (kaka or keruru) required dexterity, patience and this trap sunk into the ground or balanced on a branch. A rope through the holes in the tiki rolled up on the perch and notched at regular intervals caught the bird when it landed and the rope would tighten around its feet. If the bird died, its feathers were used to make precious capes.
The age and graphic features of this item that's rare to find in private collections, essentially, its pedigree, are exceptional
The torso bears a plastron with a vertical triple row of eight cowris. Three ‘ears', two red and one black, are following one another on both sides until they frame a replica of the plastron in the back. In any case, this envelop doesn't reveal a determined gender, nor did the face before.
It is the same with the rings that tide the calfs, usually female attributes on separated legs which tint when they walk or dance. The tightening of the rings contrasts with the inflation of the thighs, also unusual in the Kuyu statuary which determines more calfs and buttoms. Finally, we note the repetition of the number five at the top and at the bottom, usually interpreted as a symbol of change in the established order.
Failing that a reference cosmogony is at our disposal to decode the signs on this objects, we have to guess from direct observation that this statuette is linked with the major stage of the androgyny in any initiation, that is either going further towards the determination of a gender, or on the contrary going back to the origins of the creation process freeing oneself from the determinations. We prefer this last hypothesis as far as the legs attached literally express a renunciation of the horizontal mobility to direct the energy in a vertical dimension.
Anne-Marie Bénézech
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