Door lintel (Pare or Korupe)
Arts of the Pacific Islands
Unlike Turner Towers’ purely decorative “stones,” Māori and Yorùbá architectural elements both incorporate distinctive symbols to convey spiritual and secular concepts. This Māori pare (lintel) symbolizes the boundary between the realms of gods linked with war and peace. The openwork motif depicts a female figure with shell eyes (center); at left and right are manaia, hybrid beings that can navigate between human and spiritual realms. The lintel likely topped the entryway or window of a wharenui (meeting house). Other figures surmounted the building’s roof and side posts. These features of the exterior sculptural ensemble projected iwi (tribal) identity into the marae, a multipurpose outdoor gathering space.
Wood, pāua shell
13 1/2 x 35 1/8 x 1 7/8 in. (34.3 x 89.2 x 4.8 cm) (show scale)
"IX" carved in the back of the head of the central figure; "61.126" occurs twice, once in ink and once in pencil.
Frank L. Babbott Fund and Carll H. de Silver Fund
Maori wood carving of a Korupe or Pare (window or door lintel). The central figure is a female with clasped hands, short legs and a typical grotesque face ornamented with green shell eyes. To either side the wood is carved into nonsymmetrical small swirls etc and two larger manaia figures. The bottom section appears to depict a platform where there is little openwork. The object is carved on the back as well, and there is partial finished detail on the back. There is no presence of a surface coating and the object is not painted.
This item is not on view
Maori. Door lintel (Pare or Korupe), ca. 1850. Wood, pāua shell, 13 1/2 x 35 1/8 x 1 7/8 in. (34.3 x 89.2 x 4.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Frank L. Babbott Fund and Carll H. de Silver Fund, 61.126. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 61.126_PS9.jpg)
overall, 61.126_PS9.jpg., 2019
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