About this object

Gable peak mask (koruru) for a meeting house. The face is a flat, rounded rectangle in overall shape, pierced at the cheeks and mouth. The divided tongue is joined at the tip below the mouth, with a round knob at the end. An inverted 'V' shape on the forehead ends in a flat circle carved with a double spiral at the top of the head. Most of the rest of the front surface has ridges and haehae (grooves) and pakati (dog's tooth notches), or whakarare (a distorted pattern where several parallel ridges and grooves regularly curve across a notched ridge between them). The eyes are painted white with black pupils. The rest of the mask is painted red.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    19th Century
  • Materials
    Red paint; Black paint; White paint; Carved, painted; Wood
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, World Cultures
  • Acquisition
    Purchased from Mrs E M Davies, 1945
  • Collector
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    24.5 x 7.5 x 46.0 cm
  • Note
    Polychrome painting of meeting houses, using European paints, was introduced in the 1870s and 1880s, but by 1890 the colour red predominated. A meeting house symbolises an important local ancestor, and his or her face is shown on the front as the koruru. Attribution: Whakatane-East Coast, 1850-60 (David Simmons, October 1981).
  • Related people
    E M Mrs Davies ( Previous owner)


Previous owners

  • E M Mrs Davies

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchase
    Owned until: 1945
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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