Kareau figure of carved and painted wood, anthropomorphic, representing standing male with wings and European clothes, from Nicobar Islands, Bay of Bengal, 1880-1925
This carved and painted wooden kareau figure is also known as a ‘scare-devil’. It is from the Nicobar Islands in India. It was made by a ‘menluana’. This is a ritual specialist or healer who communicates with the spirit world. The figure was set up outside a sick person’s house to scare and drive away the bad spirits thought to be causing disease. The statue is dressed in European clothing. This perhaps reflects the perceived power of Europeans at the time.