This figure of a guardian monkey is carved for protection and is very similar in form to the ‘stick gods’ of Hawaii (see Eric Kjellgren, How to Read Oceanic Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2014, p. 148). The overall style is one of stark minimalism, with the artists distilling only the most essential features. The figure has a deep brow but no eyes. The large head is accentuated by a long muzzle and prominent ears. The body has an almost human form, further stressing the unusual profile of the subject. The monkey is seated with hands touching its face, evoking a sombre, almost melancholic expression. The projection below the figure indicates that this figure may have been stored in rice containers to ward off malevolent spirits. Never restored, the figure is in very good condition, with only a stable crack running along right hand side of face and lower back.
Ex. Joseph Gerena, a long-time dealer in tribal art and artifacts in the U.S.