An Interesting Idol.—Mons. Ballieu has been so fortunate as to secure a wooden god, which was quite recently discovered in a cave on the island of Hawaii, on the lower slopes of Mauna Kea. It is comparatively well executed, showing a great advance on the style of art exhibited in the idols found on Dr. Trousseau’s sheep ranch some months ago, which doubtless belonged to a much earlier period. It is cut out from a solid log of some light-colored wood, probably Mamane, and stands just three feet in height, including pedestal. The image has the usual squat position which is seen in all Hawaiian sculptural efforts, and the features, especially the mouth, are hideously distorted. The most remarkable thing about the statue is a broad flat arched projection, springing from the back of the shoulders, and forming a sort of canopy over the head, extending down in front of the face to about the level of the mouth. From the upper periphery of this projection radiate a number of long spikes. It is hard to say what this unusual adjunct is intended to represent, but it may be that the head was originally covered with a wig, and the head piece represents a mahiole or a helmet. We congratulate Mr. Ballieu on his good luck in securing this antiquity, which he sends to one of the museums of Paris; but at the same time we must express our regret that it could not have been placed in our own national museum.
[Does anyone know where this kii is today?]
(Hawaiian Gazette, 4/25/1877, p. 3)