Sunday, 6 February 2011


One of the things I like about visiting different countries is looking at the statues the locals carve.  I have a particular love of local gods, idols or fertility figures, much to my OHs horror!  I usually try to pick up at least one little souvenir on each trip, but this has slowed dramatically since traveling with my OH, she seems to think we don't need lots of fertility statues around the garden let alone the house.

A lot of the statues have come from various parts of the pacific.  I was lucky enough to travel around quite a few of the islands and loved all the different images.  This little fella is from the Cook Islands (which if you ever get a chance to visit are stunning and my favourite place in the world). At some point I will have to do a post on the carved palm trees I saw there.

This next one is from Papaya New Guinea.  Sadly I have yet to get there, but found it on one of the other islands in the area.  It is quite a bit more scary than most and is not one many people seem to like.  I think it has a certain something though.

I have a couple form Hawaii, again they seem to have gone for more ferocious than cute and cuddly. Sadly I had run out of money by the time I got there and this one is a bit tourist,  but I hope one day to carve a nicer version myself. (one of the many things on my to-do list). Actually the idea for this post came from from the blog Laguna Dirt and their Tiki statues (thank you for the idea).

Next is Ghana and again I have a few from here.  This one is by far my favourite, not just because I haven't seen another like it, but because of the look of surprise on her face. I was working out there at the time,  and had the strangest haggling experience every to get this.  I am sure most people are used to the usual ask a price,  then haggle it down to something that is reasonable and fair.  The price for this was so low I was a bit taken aback, so offered a much higher price.  We then went back and forwards them haggling the price down me haggling up.  In the end we settled on something that was still stupidly cheap but I thought fairer.  The only time I have ended up paying more than the original asking price.

The back of this one is fun as she has a baby clinging to her, and excuse my language, but very well defined buttocks.

I will finish in Nepal. This Buddha for which I am sure there is an official term, but which I refer to as stretching Buddha is probably where I go from interesting to tat.  I am not sure it has artistic merit when the value was determined by the weight of the metal. I read a book before my visit called Shopping for Buddhas by Jeff Greenwald about the joy of searching for the perfect Buddha statue in Nepal, and so I did a little searching myself. I found this little round bellied gem in a pile of metal being sold probably for scrap. However he was valued,  I like him,  and whenever I look at him I am instantly transported back to the narrow winding streets of Kathmandu with their colours, sounds and smells.

Overall i think they are more tasteful than tat, but my OH thinks otherwise, I guess the saying is true: one mans tasteful is another womans tat. But do not worry we have not stopped collecting,  only when my OH gets involved it is no longer little statues that can be hidden away.


  1. your collection is so cool! lucky you that you also got to visit all those exotic places!

  2. I know, there are so many interesting places to visit. I have been so lucky so far and hope I continue to have the opportunities to visit many more in the future.

  3. Hi, i have one of your number two pic idols, i was told it was a fertility idol for males, do you know anything about this idol. Any information would be great

    1. Sadly I don't know anything about that one at all. It was one of the only ones bought away from people who could tell me about it.