Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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portion of a lintel with hornbill birds
  • Abelam peoples
  • portion of a lintel with hornbill birds, 1850s–1969
  • Where object was made: East Maprik, Papua New Guinea
  • wood, clay, pigment, carving
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 30 x 218 x 19 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 11 3/4 x 85 13/16 x 7 1/2 in
  • Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Franklin D. Murphy
  • Not on display
  • 1977.0026
Multimedia
Description
Label Text
Exhibitions

Lintel, or a crossbeam, depicting seven hornbill birds on a shared piece of wood. Each bird has a round body, no visible legs, an eye is indicated and a long beak, directed downward. The birds are yellow with black, pink and grey details. There are three pairs of hornbills, each facing each other, and another hornbill without a partner. Both birds in a pair have a similar decoration.
The pair at the left end are decorated with a grey starburst on a black field with a black center. Pink detail on body and beak.
Next pair of birds have a large black wing-like shape, outlined with pink and a smaller black oval, also outlined in pink.
Third pair of birds have more evenly divided black wing shapes, outlined with pink, and two small black triangles in the negative space between.
Single hornbill at the end is decorated with the same starburst design on the first pair.

The wood on which they are perched is decorated with pink and black horizontal stripes with grey zigzags.