Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

roof finial
  • unknown Upper Sepik maker
  • roof finial, late 1800s–1974
  • Where object was made: Upper Sepik River, Papua New Guinea
  • wood, clay?, cowrie shells
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 113 x 55 x 32 cm width does not include broken wing
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 44 1/2 x 21 5/8 x 12 5/8 in width does not include broken wing
  • Gift of Donald and Fifi White
  • Not on display
  • 2007.3163

The carved finial of light colored wood has the conical element as the core of the finial. It is decorated with rows of waved ridges.

The standing male figure is in front of the conical support. He has a relatively large torso and smaller limbs. There are three arched lines or scars above each breast and his penis is visible. It has cowrie shells for eyes.

There is a long-necked bird standing on the figure's head with wings spread. The wings are decorated with concentric oval ridges, centered on the bend in each wing. It has cowrie shells for eyes.

The ridges in all elements are emphasized with white clay.

The right wing is currently not attached.