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A Paoa for Peace | Nukunoni

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After a series of unfortunate and provocative occurrences, between the village of Vaipae-pae-o-Pau and Nukunoni that began with a wife of a Vaipae villager claiming to have been assaulted by men from Nukunoni.

Vaipae invited Nukunoni to join in a feast of the Ti. This proved to be an ambush that led to the roasting of people from Nukunoni. Seeking revenge, Nukunoni joined forces with other villages to take vengeance upon Vaipae. Knowing that their chances of success against a combined enemy was unlikely, ‘Vaipae’ decided that a truce was their only option to avoid a massacre.

This painting depicts members of Vaipae village, preparing a paoa(tapa cloth) by holding it over a heated source and ‘scenting’ it with the fragrance from selected plants that were scattered over a umu(ground oven) .

The Paoa was then worn by a maiden from Vaipae who stood upwind from the chief of Nukunoni with the hope of attracting and seducing him. It proved a successful plan and peace was again restored.

Materials: Stretched Canvas, Oil paint, varnish.
Size: 46 x 30
Date: 2020

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