The object, recently identified as being made of Thespesia populnea (family Malvaceae), is a baton, or ua, measuring 141 cm long; it is from a private collection (G.LL 17426/200026). The modeling of the heads is particularly fine, enabling us to suggest that this work of art dates from the first European contacts. The object is sculpted in a pinkish wood, characteristic of makoi, the name the islanders gave to Thespesia populnea, the ' rose wood of Oceania '. This wood, sometimes the color of salmon, has the slight perfume of a rose, and is a material of very fine grain that carves easily and takes a beautiful polish.
Orliac, Catherine and Bahn, Paul G. Translation
"Reflections on the use of "Thespesia populnea" as wood for carvings on Easter Island,"
Rapa Nui Journal: Journal of the Easter Island Foundation: Vol. 8
, Article 1.
Available at: https://kahualike.manoa.hawaii.edu/rnj/vol8/iss3/1