Gable Mask (Koruru)
Arts of the Pacific Islands
The Maori believed certain structures—communal meeting houses, the houses of chiefs, and some food storage buildings—symbolized the body of an important ancestor, with the ridgepole indicating the backbone, the rafters the ribs, and the slanting facade boards the arms. Placed at the apex of the gable, the gable mask depicts the face of the honored ancestor.
Wood, pāua shell
19 7/8 x 10 3/4 x 1 7/8 in. (50.5 x 27.3 x 4.8 cm) (show scale)
"03.217" written in black on back of head; blue-rimmed label reads: "Carved Mask, from Paus[sp?], or Maori Chiefs House - (very old) New-Zealand"
Brooklyn Museum Collection
Carved wooden ornament for a house gable in the form of a human face with pieces of pāua shell inserted in the eyes; richly carved
This item is not on view
Maori. Gable Mask (Koruru), ca. 1860. Wood, pāua shell, 19 7/8 x 10 3/4 x 1 7/8 in. (50.5 x 27.3 x 4.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum Collection, 03.217. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 03.217_PS9.jpg)
overall, 03.217_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
"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.
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 fill out our online application form
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 email@example.com
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.