Rare Ceremonial Food Bowl, umete, Tahiti/Austral Island, Society Islands
length 20in (51cm), height 5 1/2in (14cm)
finely carved in deeply hollowed, oval form resting on four feet, one end coming to a point, the other rounded end with a raised and incised motif; fine, varied honey-brown patina.
Private East Coast Collection
According to Kaeppler (Blackburn Collection, 2010: p 304, fig 339), these bowls "may have been a medicine bowl ('umete ra'au moa), in which herbal potions were mixed and consecrated on the marae, or a special 'ava bowl."