A mo‘ai kavakava is a small wooden figure of a standing, slightly stooped male with an emaciated body.
These figures originate from Rapa Nui (Easter Island). The name mo‘ai kavakava is formed from mo‘ai for the monumental monolithic human figures found on Easter Island and the word kavakava meaning ribs. Little is known about the cultural context of these figures although they are generally considered to be representations of starving ancestors or demons. It is believed these figures were worn hanging around the neck of the men who took part in the ritual dances during public ceremonies.
- Forment, F.; Huyge, D. ; Valladas, H. (2001). AMS sup.14C age determinations of Rapanui wood sculpture: moai kavakava ET 48.63 from Brussels. Retrieved 2009-02-05.
- Splendid Isolation: Art of Easter Island, an exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (fully available online as PDF), which contains material on Moai kavakava
- Images of Moai kavakava in the collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
- Image of Moai kavakava in the collection of the Vatican