Large Fish God Image, Marquesas Islands
Stone, probably basalt
length 15 3/4in (40cm)
Edward Dodd (1905 - ), noted author on Polynesian art and culture, best known for his three volume work "The Ring of Fire" published in 1967
The gods of fishing in the Marquesas Islands were numerous. Each type of fishing had its own god, yet the main god was Tana'oa. Fishing was conducted either individually or in a group who lived in a sacred precinct near the sea. During fishing expeditions for the chief, speaking and activity were forbidden. If the fishing expedition was successful, a large feast was held and the fish distributed to everyone living the valley. Fishing was done not just with nets but with line and hook, spears and harpoons, snares, fish traps and poison.