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Door Lintel (pare)

Location

NEW ZEALAND (AOTEAROA), NORTH ISLAND, WHAKAKI

Culture

Maori

Title

Door Lintel (pare)

Date

About 1840

Materials

Wood, mother-of-pearl inlays

Dimensions

106.6 x 26.5 x 2.5 cm

Credits

Purchase, gift of F. Cleveland Morgan, inv. 1956.Pc.4

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

The focal point of Maori community life is the meeting house, the embodiment of the group’s ancestor. Political and religious meetings, funerals, welcoming visitors and other celebrations take place there. The carved lintel above the door marks the passage from the outside world, a place of mundane activities and conflicts, into the interior, sacred space, the locus of peace. This lintel was carved about 1840, when the first large meeting houses were built. Its central area depicts the female ancestor of the Ngāti Kahungunu lineage. When the house was knocked down in 1865, a number of its pieces were stolen by curio hunters. This lintel was later found in the collection of the British anthropologist Harry Beasley, before being sold by his wife in 1956 to F. Cleveland Morgan.

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