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 22-12 The To´o of god´Oro
  Issue : décembre 16 of 2022
  Printing : Offset
  Imprimerie : Phil@poste
  Production : FARE RATA 2022
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The to’o of god ’Oro, considered one of the most emblematic sculptures of French Polynesia,
is an anthropomorphic figure from the island of Raiatea (islands below the wind), representing
the Polynesian god ’Oro.

This statue dates from the eighteenth century. It is 59 cm high and 11 cm in diameter. It was
made from a solid wood core covered by layers of woven coconut fibers, decorated with red and
yellow feathers representing the god ’Oro, eldest son of the great Ta’aroa (creator god) and Hina
(high-ranking woman). ’Oro was the god of the skies and the earth, of human sacrifices and ’Arioi
(comedians), and of fertility and fecundity. It also became the god of war as a result of conflicts
between tribes.

His father gave him district of Ōpoa on the island of Raiatea with the sacred place marae Feoro
(name of actual marae Taputapuatea). The name of Feoro was changed to Vaiotaha and became
the name of all marae dedicated to ’Oro. Due to his great power, the inhabitants of Raiatea
and other islands recognized ’Oro as the supreme god of Earth and Air.

The to’o was a materialization of the divine, a “personification” of the god ’Oro whose human
features were sometimes depicted on the surface of the figurine (mouth, nose, arms, hands, navel).
Several to’o were manufactured and preserved by different Ari'i (principal chiefs of each district)
which allowed them to establish relations with gods. This sculpture is currently at the British

Fare Rata, the French Polynesia Post Officeis pleased to share with you the story of the sculpture of God ’Oro, an ambassador object of Polynesian culture.

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22-12 The To´o of god´Oro
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