Crafted from bone for a person of high standing. Believed to be female goddess effigies, these sacred figurines have at times been accorded to high ranking Tongan women such as the Mehekitanga, an important family relation in Tongan culture, or the Tamaha, the niece to the King of Tonga through his sister.
Marupai such as this are magical charms carved from small dwarf coconuts that were often used by sorcerers as messengers, as protective amulets and for creating havoc or harm in warfare. This example is classic in nature with a precisely incised design in-filled with white lime. Frontally the motif is reminiscent of the spirits found on the hohao or gope boards. From the side the spirit is more zoomorphic, almost pig-like in appearance. This marupai is unusual for still being in its tightly wove
This is a photo of Chuonnasuan (1927–2000), the last shaman of the Oroqen people, taken by Richard Noll in July 1994 in Manchuria near the Amur River border between the People's Republic of China and Russia (Siberia). Oroqen shamanism is now extinct.
This "Big" headdress of a Siberian Evenk shaman (avun) made of steel was part of a full ritual costume worn for very important rites and rituals. The structure of this headdress reflects its symbolic meaning and contains an archaic image of the model of the Universe. More info at the link.