Tongan art, with its elegant sculpture, headrests, body adornment, clubs, containers, tools and fibre work, has made an outstanding contribution to the culture of Oceania.
In The Art of Tonga, Keith St. Cartmail's achievement is to draw together all the strands of this island kingdom's material culture into a single volume--surprisingly no other work has done this to date. The author begins by outlining the history of Tonga, then comprehensively details all aspects of Tongan art, ancient and modern. He clearly documents the significance and widespread influence of this beautiful art work through West Polynesia, and argues that despite recent neglect, and in spite of being mutilated and destroyed by missionaries, and dispersed by collectors to all corners of the earth, Tongan art is nonetheless alive and well.
Authoritative and accessible, The Art of Tonga is lavishly illustrated with superb and important examples of Tongan art from throughout its history. It is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the magnificent cultures of Oceania.
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