Polynesian houses were simply furnished, usually with layers of soft pandanus-leaf matting covering the ﬂoor, bark cloth bedding and perhaps a wood or bamboo pillow for the use of senior members of the household. In central Polynesia (Society Is., Austral Is., Cook Is.) low stools of various types were used by chiefs and others of high status.
On Atiu Island the stool form achieved an elegant simplicity. Carved from a solid block of tamanu (Callophyllum inophyllum), the slightly ﬂaring rectangular seat is supported on four curving legs with heart-shaped feet. The speciality of Atiu craftsmen (Buck, 1944: 48), these stools circulated by exchange to other islands in the group.
Steven Hooper, 1997
Entry taken from Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection, Vol. 2: Pacific, African and Native North American Art, edited by Steven Hooper (Yale University Press, 1997) p. 21.
Acquired by the Sainsbury Family in 1968. Donated to the Sainsbury Centre, University of East Anglia in 1973 as part of the original gift.