Skip Navigation

Canoe Prow (Tauihu)

Arts of the Pacific Islands

CULTURE Maori
MEDIUM Wood, paua shell
DATES 1850-1870
DIMENSIONS 12 5/8 x 21 5/8 x 40 15/16 in. (32.0 x 55.0 x 104.0 cm)  (show scale)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 53.149.1
CREDIT LINE Gift of Princess Gourielli (Mme Helena Rubinstein)
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.

Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact reproductions@brooklynmuseum.org (charges apply).

For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
CAPTION Maori. Canoe Prow (Tauihu), 1850-1870. Wood, paua shell, 12 5/8 x 21 5/8 x 40 15/16 in. (32.0 x 55.0 x 104.0 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Princess Gourielli (Mme Helena Rubinstein), 53.149.1. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE 3/4 front, 53.149.1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION This canoe prow of a river boat is carved from four pieces of wood: one piece is at the front of the object with a curved long neck that ends in a carved face; a second and third are two separate side boards nailed to the front piece; and a fourth is a small floor board nailed within the second and third pieces near the front. There are holes in the boards probably for lashings: four in the top of the front piece, two on each side of the long curved neck, five in one side board, and six in the other. The face, which is attached to the curved neck of the prow, has a sculpted triangular forehead with a sharp front ridge joining the nose's flared nostrils. The eyes of shell are mounted on pegs and surrounded by semi-lunar areas of carved scroll designs. The open, heart-shaped mouth is decorated with scrolls and has a long triangular tongue extending out from it. Condition: Fair. There are chips on the tip of the tongue, sides at top of the head, and in shell inlays of the eyes. Overall, there are numerous cracks and nicks in the wood of the object. There are two repairs on the face: the first is a diagonal crack going across the right eye to the nose and continuing below the left eye; and the second is one crack going from the back of the neck to the prow, through the lower half of the face, and through the middle of the mouth.
RECORD COMPLETENESS Good (75%)
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.